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Help With Basic Sikhism?

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Hello all!

I have been quite upset by the prejudices people hold against other religions, so have been trying to write a book which can educate adults and children on the basics of major religions, showing the links between them.

However, I am personally not a Sikh, so would be very grateful if you could look over this document and tell me what I should add/subtract/change please?

Sorry to trouble you all, but if you do help, it would be most kind :')

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Guest SantKhalsa007

Well researched !

Few additions that i would suggest in your file:

Fact File

Where now? - Everywhere but predominantly (Punjab, India). *See below attached picture...
Branches - Udasis, Sehajdharis (not anymore), Nirmalas etc. Other Jathas (group) such as Taksal, AKJ, Nihungs are closely related to each other who stand with Sikh Supreme Court "Akal Takht Sahib"

Holy Places - Darbar Sahib aka Golden Temple aka Harmandir Sahib (Amritsar, Punjab). Five Takhts all over India & other Historical Gurdwaras such as Sri Nanakana Sahib (Pakistan)
Festivals - Baisakhi/Vaisakhi - Religious prespective - New Year and Establishment of Khalsa (Amritdhari ceremony) by Tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Sahib ji. Culture wise - End of Harvesting season.

post-39844-0-36656400-1372542939_thumb.j

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Guest SantKhalsa007

Guru Nanak Dev ji brought his clarity of thinking to high-lighting the jarring social inequalities then prevailing, especially discrimination against women. His hymn on this theme in the Guru Granth Sahib testifies to the degree of his concern:

Why should we consider woman cursed and condemned,
When from woman are born leaders and rulers.
From woman alone is born a woman,
Without woman there can be no human birth.
Guru Granth Sahib, Rag Asa, p.473

It goes without saying that amongst his own followers Guru Nanak insisted on complete equality between men and women. In this he was far ahead of his time.

Sikhism went beyond the older established religions of Indi and its liberal and sensitive concern for the individual. In exalting the concept of caring for every human being irrespective of caste or creed, it replace dogma and doctrine by a basic belief in truth. It elevated truth to the level of a Divine Being. Sikhism emerged not as a synthesis of established religions but as an alternative to them.

Third Nanak, Guru Amar Das Ji’s contribution to the evolution of Sikhism was unique and wide-ranging. To begin with, he ensured that Second Nanak, Guru Angad’s insistence on a code of personal conduct was scrupulously observed. He saw this as necessary in order to foster a new and outstanding category of men and women of high caliber, and able to implement the major reforms he had in mind – like the emancipation of women.

Whom should I despise,
Since the one Lord made us all?
Guru Granth Sahib, // Sarang, p.1237

Guru Amar Das ji allowed widows to remarry; and sanctioned the appointing of women as preachers. He prohibited women of the Sikh faith from practicing sati, the self-immolation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres, nor were they obliged to wear veils. Women headed many of the manjis established by Guru Amar Das ji. These and several other decisions ensured equality between men and women, and brought out the cultural distinctiveness between the Sikh and other faiths, since none of them had ever shown an inclination to give women their rightful place in society.

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Guest SantKhalsa007

Sikh practices are simple, precise and practical guidelines laid out by the Gurus for the practice of the “Sikh way of life”. The Gurus emphasise that a Sikh should lead a disciplined life engaged in Naam Simran, meditation on God’s name, Kirat Karni, living a honest life of a house-holder, and Wand kay Shako, sharing what one has with the community. This translates into hard work, honest living, love of fellow humans and through them service of the God, the primal power. This way of life is said to have been stripped of complications, myths, jargon, rituals and exploitation of man by man in the name of religion. No benefits are gained by where and to which family the person is born to – All have to undertake the rigours of Simran (meditation) and Sewa (selfless service ) to progress spiritually. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib asks the Sikh to “Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life. One who is so blessed by the Formless Lord God renounces selfishness, and becomes the dust of all. (SGGS, aang (page) 51)

The Sikh is required to undertake the following observances:

Disciplined life

  • Wake up early in the morning (Before Sunrise).
  • Bathing and cleansing of the body should be performed.
  • Cleanse the mind by spending some time meditating on God.
  • Engage in family life and address your responsibilities within the family.
  • Attend to a work or study routine and earn a living by earnest means.
  • Undertake to help the less well off with monetary and/or physical help.
  • Exercise your responsibilities to the community and take active part in the maintenance and safeguard of the community.

Personal regulations

  1. Wear the 5Ks – Kesh, Kanga, Kaccha, Kara, Kirpan.
  2. Meditate by reciting his Gurbani and by singing his Kirtan (music based hymns) and remember Him always.
  3. Wash your mind clean with Sewa, selfless service to the community by doing manual work at the Gurdwara by cleaning the dishes, washing the floors, painting the walls; working in Community Centres; in old peoples homes, etc.
  4. Practice Truth at all times: To live by the Gurus instruction to practice Truth thus: “Those who practice Truth reap the profits, abiding in the Will of God. With the Merchandise of Truth, they meet the Guru, who does not have a trace of greed. (6)” (SGGS page 59 (2)) and also “O Siblings of Destiny, follow the Guru’s Teachings and dwell in truth. Practice truth, and only truth, and merge in the True Word of the Shabad. ||1||Pause||” (SGGS page 30 (3))
  5. Be kind and merciful to others: Kindness is a virtue that the Sikh have been asked to exercise at all times. The Gurus have shown on many occasion how to practise and live a life of kindness and mercy and have the following message for the keen devotee: “Become ‘Jivan-Mukta’, liberated while yet alive, by meditating on the Lord of the Universe, O mind, and maintaining faith in Him in your heart. Show kindness and mercy to all (sentient) beings, and realize that the Lord is pervading everywhere; this is the way of life of the enlightened soul, the supreme swan. ||7||” (SGGS page 508 (4))
  6. Become a Gurmukh by doing Good deeds: The Sikh Gurus repeatedly ask the dedicated Sikh to always do good deeds as shown by this verse from the Guru Granth Sahib - “The Gurmukh practices doing good deeds; thus he comes to understand this mind. The mind is like an elephant, drunk with wine. The Guru is the rod which controls it, and shows it the way. ||2||” (SGGS page 159 (5))

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You will only get opinions here. I have only been using this website for a few days but enough to tell me there are a lot of misinformed people here. If I were you I would contact the Sri Akal Takht Sahib (Sikh's highest temporal authority) and have your work reviewed and approved by them before publication.

You will only get opinions here. I have only been using this website for a few days but enough to tell me there are a lot of misinformed people here. If I were you I would contact the Sri Akal Takht Sahib (Sikh's highest temporal authority) and have your work reviewed and approved by them before publication.

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"These are the three duties of a Sikh, basically to Pray, Work and Give"

Is incorrect, its not pray but meditate naam 24 hours (naam japna), and its not just work its honest work only.

Naam is Gods creative force that is used in the world as a creater and director of the world which we can attune to by remembering God's qualities and simran (meditation of waheguru)

also it seems that you got all your information from Wikpedia :/ but a good attempt.

Here a great essential resource:

http://www.gurunanakacademy.com/audio/index.php?q=f&f=%2FEnglish+Katha%2FBhai+Parminder+Singh+Ji

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The aren't many Sikhs in Pakistan anymore. After the partition of India in 1947, Sikhs had to leave their homes for the Indian side as it was too dangerous to stay. India has the largest Sikh population (concentrated in the Punjab region) and this is followed by the UK.

I suggest that you change Divali to Bandi Chor, this is the Sikh name for the festival. It falls on the same day as the Hindu festival of Divali, but we celebrate for different reasons. Also, Vaisakhi is the day when the Khalsa was created by the 10th guru, because most Sikhs are Punjabi, Vaisakhi is also the day when the harvest is celebrated and has some cultural celebrations.

Guru Nanak instead of Lanka.

We also do Nagar Kirtans on festivals. This is when we do parades in towns and give food etc. on the way. The Guru Granth Sahib leads the procession with 5 Sikhs (panj pyare).

You might want to mention langar. This was started by the first guru, Guru Nanak. Langar refers to the free meals you can find at a gurdwara. Anyone is welcome and can take part in the langar. Everyone sits together and eats the same food, showing equality and getting rid of your ego.

There are no priests, but gurdware will employ people to care of the Guru Granth Sahib and do things such as teaching children about Sikhism and Punjabi. These are called Granthis.

Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, but it evolved with the following 9 human Gurus. The last, current Guru (11th Guru) is the Guru Granth Sahib, this is the Sikh holy book and it is treated with great respect.

Good luck with your book. :)

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I have been busy changing this document (as well as others!) according to your advice, so sorry for the late reply. Hopefully it's better now?! :D

I really cannot express my gratitude enough for all your wonderful help! Thank you so much everyone!!

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Under three pillars of sikhism you got a typo; 11, 2, 3

Well researched !

Few additions that i would suggest in your file:

Fact File

Where now? - Everywhere but predominantly (Punjab, India). *See below attached picture...
Branches - Udasis, Sehajdharis (not anymore), Nirmalas etc. Other Jathas (group) such as Taksal, AKJ, Nihungs are closely related to each other who stand with Sikh Supreme Court "Akal Takht Sahib"

Holy Places - Darbar Sahib aka Golden Temple aka Harmandir Sahib (Amritsar, Punjab). Five Takhts all over India & other Historical Gurdwaras such as Sri Nanakana Sahib (Pakistan)
Festivals - Baisakhi/Vaisakhi - Religious prespective - New Year and Establishment of Khalsa (Amritdhari ceremony) by Tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Sahib ji. Culture wise - End of Harvesting season.

attachicon.gifsikh-population.jpg

Don't think there are that many Sikhs in Afghanistan anymore. At this point it's probably a couple of thousand only. And Australian Sikh population is 72,000 (2011) not 110,000.

btw why isn't sehajdhari a branch of sikhi anymore?

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