Sikhism is the fifth largest organized world religion founded by Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji during 15th century (Year 1469) in Indian sub-continent. It now has nearly 30 million (3 crores) followers called as Sikhs. Sikhism is referred as Sikhi which means disciple or learner.
The faith system is based on the teachings of its 1st and founder Guru ‘Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’ and 9 successive Gurus. Their teachings are present in Sikh’s holy book ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji’. The 10th Master Guru Gobind Singh Ji ended the personal Guruship and proclaimed Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Holi scriptures) as the final sovereign Guru forever. It is a voluminous text of 1430 Angs (or pages) compiled and composed during the period of Sikh Gurus. It is collection of hymns (Shabads) or Baani, written in Gurmukhi, by Sikh Gurus, great saints or bhagats from Hindu and Muslim faith, bhatts and Sikhs disciples describing qualities of One God and why one should meditate on that ONE God’s name.
The term Guru in Sikhism is not used for a teacher or a guide or an expert or even a human. It is composed of 2 terms ‘Gu’ – means darkness and ‘Ru’ means Light. Thus Guru is defined as the light that dispels all darkness and is called ‘Jot’.
God is termed as Waheguru
Sikhism was founded with the birth of its first Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in year 1469. There have been 9 other Gurus following Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who established Sikhism over the centuries. Finally, in year 1708, tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji bestowed the Guruship forever to the Sikh Holy Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
|1||Guru Nanak Dev Ji||1469||70|
|2||Guru Angad Dev Ji||1504||48|
|3||Guru Amar Das Ji||1479||95|
|4||Guru Ram Das Ji||1534||47|
|5||Guru Arjan Dev Ji||1563||43|
|6||Guru HarGobind Sahib Ji||1595||49|
|7||Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji||1630||31|
|8||Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji||1656||8|
|9||Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji||1621||54|
|10||Guru Gobind Singh Ji||1666||42|
|11||Guru Granth Sahib Ji||1604||Never|
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the Holy Scripture and present Guru of Sikhs, since year 1708. It is written in Gurmukhi which means from the mouth (Mukh) of the Guru. It also contains hymns which are written in various languages like Sahiskriti, Sant Bhasha, Persian and Sanskrit. It consists of 1430 Angs (Pages) and has been written by
- Sikh Gurus
- Bhagats (Holy text of saints of both Hindu and Muslim faiths),
- Bhatts (musicians, scholar, poets) and
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji gives a peaceful message to the entire world. It states that you cannot reach God just by belonging to a certain religion or following a certain religion, you have to have moral values, help the less fortunate, live a truthful life, and most importantly, meditate on God.
If one seeks to meet God and attain eternal peace, he or she should read Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The scripture does not preach Sikhism or tells people to convert to Sikhism but gives an amazing, mind opening and enlightening information about God and His creations. In addition, Guru Granth Sahib Ji shows everyone a straight path to attain salvation regardless of their background or religion.
For more information on Structure of Guru Granth Sahib, please open the below link
Nitnem (Sikh Daily Prayers)
Nit (Daily) Nem (Naam) is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by Sikhs every day at different times of day. It usually includes Panj Bania (5 Bani’s) which are read daily by baptized Sikhs during ‘amritvela’ (before sunrise) i.e. 3am – 6am. The evening prayer is Rehras Sahib and Kirtan Sohila is recited before sleeping at night.
- Japji Sahib
- Jaap Sahib
- Tav Prasad Savaiye
- Benti Choupai Sahib
- Anand Sahib
- Rehras Sahib
- Kirtan Sohila
More information can be read at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitnem
Baptism ‘Amrit Sanchar’
Amrit Sanchar also called Khande Di Pahul is the Sikh ceremony of initiation or baptism. It was first introduced on Baisakhi Day in 1699 by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. Both male and female can take Khande Di Pahul. The one who takes Khande Di Pahul is also called Amritdhari and need to follow ‘Sikh Rehat Maryada’ or Sikh Code of Conducts.
To get baptized, there is no minimum age required, however, a person should not be of a very young age; he or she should have attained a plausible degree of discretion. The person to be Amritdhari must have taken bath and washed the hair and must wear all five K’s:
- Kesh (unshorn hair)
- strapped Kirpan (sword)
- Kachhehra (prescribed shorts)
- Kanga (comb tucked in the tied-up hair)
- Karha (steel bracelet)
He/she must not have on his/her person any token of any other faith.
He/she must not have his/her head bare or be wearing a cap.
He/she must not be wearing any ornaments piercing through any part of the body.
For more information, click on the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amrit_Sanchar
Sikh Rehat Maryada
Sikh Rehat Maryada is the Sikh Code of Conduct is released by Shromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC). For more information, click on below links.
http://www.sgpc.net/sikhism/code_of_conduct.html (in English)
- Important Sikhism Related Links
- SGPC www.sgpc.net
- Sikhi Wiki www.sikhiwiki.com
- Sikhnet www.sikhnet.com
- All About Sikhs www.allaboutsikhs.com
- Proud To Be Sikh www.proudtobesikh.com
- Sikhs in World War I http://www.sikhs.org/ww1/