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INTRODUCTION TO SIKHISM


Sikhism is a non-Semitic, Aryan, non-Vedic religion. It is a religion that has the sixth largest following in the world. There are approximately 23 to 27 million Sikhs in the world today. It was founded by Guru Nanak at the end of the 15th century. It originated in the area of Pakistan and North West India called Punjab, meaning the land of the five rivers. Guru Nanak was born in a Kshatriya (warrior caste) Hindu family but was very strongly influenced by Islam and Muslims.

 

Table of Contents

 

DEFINITION OF SIKH AND SIKHISM

The word ‘Sikh’ is derived from the word sisya meaning disciple or follower. Sikhism is a religion of ten Gurus, the first Guru being Guru Nanak and the tenth and the last being Guru Gobind Singh. The sacred book of Sikhism is Sri Guru Granth also called Adi Granth Sahib.

 

THE FIVE – ‘K’s

Every Sikh is supposed to keep the following five ‘K’s, which also serve to identify him as a Sikh:

Kesh – uncut hair.

Kanga – comb; used to keep the hair clean.

Kada – metal or steel bangle; for strength and self-restraint.

Kirpan – dagger; for self-defence.

Kaccha – special knee length underwear or under-drawer for agility. 

 

CONCEPT OF GOD IN SIKHISM

MULMANTRA: The Fundamental Creed of Sikhism

The best definition that any Sikh can give regarding the concept of God in Sikhism is to quote the Mulmantra – the fundamental creed of Sikhism, which occurs at the beginning of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It is mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, volume 1 Japuji, the first verse:
"There exists but one God, who is called The True, The Creator, Free from fear and hate, Immortal, Not begotten, Self-Existent, Great and Compassionate."

 

Sikhism is a monotheistic Religion

Sikhism enjoins its followers to practice strict monotheism. It believes in only One Supreme God who is, in the unmanifest form, called Ek Omkara. 

In the manifest form He is called Omkara and has several attributes such as:

Kartar – The Creator
Akal – The Eternal
Sattanama – The Holy Name
Sahib – The Lord
Parvardigar – The Cherisher
Rahim – The Merciful
Karim – The Benevolent

He is also called Wahe Guru – the One true God.

Besides Sikhism being strictly monotheistic, it also does not believe in Avataravada – the doctrine of incarnation. Almighty God does not incarnate (coming down) Himself in what is known as Avatara. Sikhism is also strongly against idol worship.

Guru Nanak was influenced by Sant Kabir

Guru Nanak was influenced by the sayings of Sant Kabir so much that several chapters of Sri Guru Granth Sahib contain couplets of Sant Kabir. 

One of the famous couplets of Sant Kabir is:

"Dukh mein sumirana sabh karein Sukh mein karein na koya
Jo sukh mein sumirana karein To dukh kaye hoye?"

"In times of trouble, God is remembered by all. But none remembers Him during peace and happiness. If God is remembered in good times of happiness Why should trouble occur?"

Compare this with the following ayath of the Qur’an:

And when adversity touches man, he calls upon his Lord, turning to Him [alone]; then when He bestows on him a favor from Himself, he forgets Him whom he called upon before, and he attributes to Allah equals to mislead [people] from His way. Say, "Enjoy your disbelief for a little; indeed, you are of the companions of the Fire."Qur’an Surah Zumar 39:8

The Sikh scriptures therefore emphasise monotheism and God-consciousness

 

See also

GURU GRANTH SAHIB; CONCEPT OF GOD IN SIKHISM; 10 GURUS OF SIKHISM;

 

References

http://www.irf.net/Sikhism.html

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