logo

Bahai

Buddhism

Christianity

Hinduism

Humanism

Islam

Jainism

Judaism

Paganism

Rastafari

Shintoism

Sikhism

Taoism

Zoroastrian

Sikhism

Sikhism (from Sanskrit, shishya, 'pupil'), a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab in the late 15th century by Guru Nanak. Sikhism, which derives from both Islam and Hinduism, combines belief in one eternal and omnipotent God with acceptance of the Hindu concepts of karma and reincarnation. Sikhism preaches the equality of mankind and rejects the caste system. The aim of the believer is to root out selfishness and achieve oneness with God through the repetition of his many names.

Through union with God, the Sikh achieves mukti (the same concept as Hindu moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth). Nanak was the first of a line of ten Gurus, ending with Gobind Singh, who proclaimed that his successor as perpetual Guru was to be the Adi Granth, the Sikhs' holy book. Gobind Singh also established the Khalsa, a brotherhood of soldier-saints.

Nowadays the Khalsa consists of both men and women who have undergone full initiation into the faith. Sikhism has no priests; any Sikh, of either sex, can conduct a service. Worship may consist of private devotions (for instance, the reciting of the Japji) or public services in the gurdwara, or Sikh temple. The focus of gurdwara worship is the reading of the Adi Granth, which, as the Guru Granth Sahib ('Holy Book Guru'), is venerated as the successor to the ten historical Gurus. Apart from the Harimandir, or Golden Temple, at Amritsar, India, other important places for Sikhs are Patna (the birthplace of Gobind Singh), Anandpur (where the Khalsa was established), and Nander (where Gobind Singh died). Important decisons affecting the Sikh community are taken by a committee of leaders from these holy places.

Adi Granth (Punjabi, 'first book'), the most important sacred book of Sikhism. The original compilation was made under the direction of Guru Arjan (1563-1606), the fifth Sikh Guru. Written in the Gurmukhi script, the Adi Granth consists of the preachings of the first five Gurus, but also includes Muslim and Hindu hymns.

It does not contain narrative, but concentrates on religious and social themes, such as the need to achieve oneness with God and the importance of service to others. The work was completed by the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, who declared that hence-forward there would be no more Gurus: his successor would be the Adi Granth, now given the honorific title Guru Granth Sahib ('Holy Book Guru'). For this reason, the Adi Granth is treated with great respect: the throne holding the book forms the focus of worship in the Gurdwara, or Sikh temple.

Gurdwara

Gurdwara (Punjabi, 'door of the guru'), the Sikh place of worship. The term can refer to any place where the sacred book of the Sikhs, the Adi Granth, is kept, as well as to a temple. The centre-piece of the temple is a throne or dais holding the Adi Granth. The book, usually covered by a canopy, is brought out to be read early in the morning and returned to its resting place in the evening. It is fanned with a sceptre set with peacock feathers or animal hairs as a sign of its authority. There are no priests in Sikhism; any Sikh, man or woman, may conduct a service. Worshippers cover their heads and remove their shoes when entering the temple.

Men and women sit separately on the floor facing the sacred book. Portions of the text are read and hymns are sung to the accompaniment of music. Karah parshad, a mixture of semolina, clarified butter, sugar, and water, which has been stirred with a kirpan or dagger, is distributed at the end of the service. The Sikh temple is a community centre, visited by many people throughout the day, as well as a place of worship; it also contains a langar, or communal kitchen, where food is distributed. The holiest Sikh temple is the Harimandir, or Golden Temple, built in 1604 at Amritsar in the Punjab, India. The temple, which stands on a lake, has four doors, indicating that it is open to all castes.

Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (granthi), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in their home. All people of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara.

Gurudwara - NZ Sikh Society

Guru (Hindi, 'teacher', from Sanskrit, 'heavy'), in Hinduism, a spiritual teacher who assists people in their search for God, leading them from darkness to enlightenment. Hindus are encouraged to seek a guru to help them attain moksha, or spiritual liberation. In Sikhism, the term applies to any of the first ten leaders of the Sikh religion. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak, whose authority and personality were transferred to nine further Gurus in succession. They include the third, Amar Das (1479-1574), who introduced the langar, or communal kitchen; the fifth, Arjan Dev (1563-1606), who founded the Harimandir or Golden Temple at Amritsar, compiled the Adi Granth, the Sikh holy book, and was martyred by the Mogul emperor Jahangir; and the tenth, Gobind Singh, who founded the Khalsa, or army of soldier-saints. Before his death, he declared that the religious authority of the Guru was considered to be vested in the Adi Granth from that time on. The ten Sikh Gurus are seen as perfect men who have achieved spiritual union with God and have escaped from the cycle of reincarnation.

Khalsa

  Khalsa (Punjabi, 'pure ones'), a group within Sikhism consisting of those who have accepted full initiation into the faith. The Khalsa was instituted by the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, in 1699, when he formed an army of soldier-saints, prepared to fight for their faith. Nowadays, both men and women can be initiated into the Khalsa by drinking amrit ('nectar'; a mixture of sugar and water) in the presence of five Sikhs, and promising to wear the 'five Ks': uncut hair (kesh); a comb (kangha); a bracelet (kara); shorts (kaccha); and a sword or dagger (kirpan). To these male members added the turban, giving the Sikhs a distinctive appearance. In addition, smoking, alcohol, and sexual incontinence are forbidden. Members of the Khalsa must accept the teachings of the Gurus, and be prepared to sacrifice all for the faith. Men who are initiated are given the additional name of Singh ('lion'), while women adopt the additional name of Kaur ('princess').

Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru. He was born into a Hindu family at Talwandi in the Punjab (now known as Nankana Sahib, in present-day Pakistan). Legends about his life are contained in the four janam sakhis ('evidences of his life'). As a child, Nanak learned about Islam as well as Hinduism, and he used to compose hymns together with a Muslim musician. He was a house-holder for the first part of his life, but at the age of 30 he went travelling in search of spiritual inspiration. He underwent a religious experience in which he had a vision of God. Nanak then proclaimed that he was neither a Hindu nor a Muslim; he gave away all his possessions and became a wandering preacher, hoping to bring Muslims and Hindus together by expounding his message of the oneness of God and the equality of men.

He preached a new path to the orthodox Hindu goal of release from the cycle of rebirth and attainment of union with God and practised a form of inward and disciplined meditation on the name of God. He returned to the Punjab after years of travelling and set up a community of disciples, who became known as Sikhs (from Sanskrit, shishya, 'pupil'). His teachings in the form of short devotional hymns are contained in the Adi Granth. Many details of his life and travels remain uncertain, although hagiographical collections of anecdotes, called Fanam-sakhis, are in circulation among Sikhs, who revere him as the first of their ten gurus (religious teachers).

America

Sikh in America - Khalsa (Punjabi, 'pure ones'), a group within Sikhism consisting of those who have accepted full initiation into the faith. The Khalsa was instituted by the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, in 1699, when he formed an army of soldier-saints, prepared to fight for their faith. Nowadays, both men and women can be initiated into the Khalsa by drinking amrit ('nectar'; a mixture of sugar and water) in the presence of five Sikhs, and promising to wear the 'five Ks': uncut hair (kesh); a comb (kangha); a bracelet (kara); shorts (kaccha); and a sword or dagger (kirpan). To these male members added the turban, giving the Sikhs a distinctive appearance. In addition, smoking, alcohol, and sexual incontinence are forbidden. Members of the Khalsa must accept the teachings of the Gurus, and be prepared to sacrifice all for the faith. Men who are initiated are given the additional name of Singh ('lion'), while women adopt the additional name of Kaur ('princess').


Sikh in America



Sikh

Sikh ('disciple'), follower of the teachings of the Indian religious leader Guru Nanak (1469-c.1539) and his nine successor gurus (see Sikhism). The orthodox Sikh wears 'the five ks': the kesh (unshaven hair and beard), the kungha (a hair comb), the kuchcha (shorts), the kara (an iron or steel bangle), and the kirpan (a sword or dagger). Clashes with the Moguls in the 17th century resulted in the execution of the fifth and ninth gurus.

The tenth and last guru, Gobind Singh, in 1699 established the khalsa (military brotherhood) whose members are called akalis. A century later Ranjit Singh set up a powerful Sikh kingdom in the Punjab, but its shortlived dominance was ended by British annexation in 1849 (see Sikh Wars). While the majority of Sikhs today live in the Punjab in India, where Sikh separatism has become a militant political movement, many others have emigrated to the UK, the USA, Canada, East Africa, and South Africa. They number about 14 million in all. The Sikh faith combines the main elements of Hinduism, collectively known as the Bhakti movement. All Sikhs get initiated into the faith at some stage in their life.




Video

Pacifism finally gave way to the militant Khalsa with the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. He allowed his followers to fight persecution and in 1699 the Khalsa brotherhood was formed. The Calendar Committee of the SGPC in their meeting of 30 June, 1999 decided that Hola Muhalla, Bandi Chhor Divas, and the Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib, to be celebrated according to the existing Hindu lunar calendar. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, some Sikh Organisation in England have started using dates, which are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar.




Festivals

Maghi (Mela Muktsar): Sikhs visit gurdwaras and listen to kirtan on this day to commemorate the martyrdom of the Forty Immortals. The largest gathering happens at Muktsar where an annual fair is held. It occurs on the first day of Makara Sankranti, around January 11/12. Forty followers of Guru Gobind Singh, who had previously deserted him, fought bravely against overwhelming Mughal army forces and were martyred here. Guru Gobind Singh personally blessed them as having achieved mukti (liberation) and cremated them at Muktsar.

Hola Mohalla: is held in March. This is an annual festival of thousands held at Anandpur Sahib. It was started by Guru Gobind Singh as a gathering of Sikhs for military exercises and mock battles on the day following the Indian festival of Holi. The mock battles were followed by music and poetry competitions. The Nihang Singh's carry on the martial tradition with mock battles and displays of swordsmanship and horse riding. There are also a number of durbars where Sri Guru Granth Sahib is present and kirtan and religious lectures take place. The festival culminates in a large parade headed by the Nishan sahib’s of the gurdwaras in the region.

Vaisakhi: Guru Amar Das first celebrated this as one of the special days when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings at Goindwal in 1567. In 1699 Guru Gobind Singh gathered thousands of devotees at Anandpur Sahib and founded the Khalsa order by baptising 5 brave Sikhs who were willing to give their life for the Guru. The Five Beloved Ones in turn baptized Guru Gobind Singh into the Khalsa brotherhood. This day celebrated around April 12 is considered the birthday of the Khalsa order. Sikhs visit gurdwaras and fairs and parades are held. Many Sikhs choose to be baptized into the Sikh faith on this day, as well the wrappings of the Nishan Sahib flag post at most gurdwaras are changed on Vaisakhi.
Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, Kachi lassi (sweetened milk) is offered to the thirsty passers-by to commemorate his death.
12/1/1666 Birth of Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Patna: He created the Khalsa (Sikh Brotherhood) and made it mandatory for them to have the five Ks - Kesh (hair), Kripan (dagger), Kada (bracelet), Kangha (comb) and Kachcha (underwear). During his time the warrior / yogi Maadhav Das, later known as Banda Bairagi successfully fought the Moghuls and finally died a martyr. Guru Gobind Singh was a poet and archer and knew Persian, Arabic and Punjabi.

Kitchen

A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves meals to all people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started this institution which outline the basic Sikh principles of service, humility and equality. The most significant historical religious center for the Sikhs is Harmiandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in the state of Punjab in northern India. It is the inspirational and historical center of Sikhism. All places where Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally holy for Sikhs.

A progressive religion well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the worlds 5th largest religion. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Sikh faith combines the main elements of Hinduism, collectively known as the Bhakti movement. All Sikhs get initiated into the faith at some stage in their life. Sikhs keep the 5Ks. They are -uncut hair, Kanghasmall hair comb, Karametal/ steel bangle, Kacha-knee length underwear, Kirpan-dagger. Sikhs believe in one immortal being, ten Gurus, the Guru Granth Sahib and the teachings of the ten Gurus.

Sikhism began with Guru Nanak. He preached the love of God and the love for each other. Pacifism finally gave way to the militant Khalsa with the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. He allowed his followers to fight persecution and in 1699 the Khalsa brotherhood was formed. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, some Sikh Organisation in England have started using dates, which are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar. All the Gurupurabs (festivals marking events in the lives of the Gurus continues to be celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar calendar.

Martydom Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji: Beheaded in Delhi by the Moghul emperor.
Masya - New Moon & Purnimasi - Full Moon: Refers to the thirtyday moon cycle. The former occurs on the new moon and the latter occurs on the night of full moon. Both are celebrated at the gurdwara.
Guru Nanak DevJi: The founder of the Sikh religion, was born on 18 October, 1469 in the Western Punjab in village of Talwandi. Born to a simple Hindu family.
Guru Ram Das: Born on 9 October 1534 in Chuna Mandi, Lahore. He is best know for founding the holy city of Amritsar on land given to the Sikhs by the Mughal emperor, Akbar. In 1577 the foundation stone of The Golden Temple was laid on Diwali. On Diwali 1619 the Golden Temple was illuminated with many lights to welcome home and celebrate the release of Guru Hargobind from imprisonment in Gwalior fort. Sikhs have continued this annual celebration with lamps being lit outside gurdwaras and sweets distributed to all. The largest Golden Temple, which is lit up with thousands of lights. Guru Amar Das celebrated this as one of the special days when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Guru’s blessings at Goindwal.

The tenth and last guru, Gobind Singh, in 1699 established the khalsa (military brotherhood) whose members are called akalis. A century later Ranjit Singh set up a powerful Sikh kingdom in the Punjab, but its shortlived dominance was ended by British annexation in 1849 (see Sikh Wars). While the majority of Sikhs today live in the Punjab in India, where Sikh separatism has become a militant political movement, many others have emigrated to the UK, the USA, Canada, East Africa, and South Africa. They number about 14 million in all.

Presentation Talks 2014

Religion Culture Diversity
Presentation

Multi Faiths Calendar

27June Ramadan 2014
http://www.multifaiths.com/mooncalendar/index.html
Astronomy eBook

Main Menu

SMSC Culture Education

Primary Education
http://www.multifaiths.com/primary/index.html
Training Teacher eBook