Sikhism:an Introduction

Sikhism:An introduction

Religion is described as a belief in an unseen higher power  which governs the universe and our lives and it include the rituals and moral behavior ,associated with the religion itself.There are many religions that are preached and practised all over the world. Many having in depth history of their origin such as Islam, Christianity ,Hinduism ,Buddhism etc.however the Sikhism has the shortest history of its emergence..

The founder of Sikhism was Guru Nanak.From Guru Nanak till Guru Gobind Singh ,there have been ten Gurus and their teachings are embedded into their Holy scripture ,the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.Sikhs pray in a Gurdwara and follow the teachings of their Gurus which they consider as the supreme.

 The term “Sikh” is a Sanskrit word which means disciple or learner” .Sikhism emerged in the 15th Century in the Northern  India .Upto the fifth Guru ,the Sikhs were  a small obscure sect of no wealth or importance, however Guru Arjun was the first to organise his following into a homogenous and well organized community.

The Teachings of Sikhism is mainly based upon the teachings of Guru Nanak, who did not intend to start any separate religion of his own but gradually his followers evolved a new religion ,known as Sikhism.

Guru Nanak ., as the legend has it had said,”Take up arms that will harm no one let your coat of mind be understanding ,convert your enemies into friends,fight with valour but with no weapon but the word of God”.Sikhism laid emphasis on the oneness or unity of God.The Guru Nanak’concept of God was Nirguna (attributeless) and Nirankar(formless).

According to Sikhism ,a man’s soul was a ray light emanating from the Divine light but being dispersed in Maya (illusion), men are deluded into thinking that about  their existence  .The aim of man should be to merge into God that could be done by complete surrender to Him and not by pilgrimages,idol worshipping,self torture or  any mechanical recitation of His name.Unless one was saturated with the true love of god ,nothing could  avail him the love of God .

.Renunciation from the world is not necessary  and it implies to running away from the tumult and turmoil of the life. Sikihism advocates a middle path between  extreme ascetism and  believes in leading a normal life .It also attacks the caste system of Hinduism  as it is against the will of God.It is basically based on the principle of Karma and theory of the transmigration of souls.Morality,humility,honesty,charity,truth and mercy own a prominent place in Sikhism.Love  and devotion to God are  indespensable necessity for them. Devotion to God is the source of all joy  or eternal bliss and is the only means of salvation .God donot live in any temple  but in the hearts of people.Approach to God through personal love and devotion was the foundation of religious life that require purification and mind from all sins which could not be  done without the help of a guru or a religious preceptor.Even a Guru could not lead to salvation because that depend upon the grace of God.It is necessary for the devotee that he must completely surrender before God.The doctrine of self surrender is the basic theme of Sikhism.and it emphasis on the idea of surrender without any prospect of material gain which is the essence of the teachings of the Sikhism. The path of Sikhism requires the guidence of   a Guru who is consider to be identical with God and on achieving that path one gets salvation as reward in the end.

A sikh must practise the five signs of faith  as commanded by their Gurus on the day of Baisakhi in 1699. These symbols are  considered as the codes of identification of Sikhism, such as honesty, equality, fidelity, militarism, meditating on God, and never bowing to tyranny. The five emblems are Kesh which means a sikh must have uncut hair tied in a turban. .He must carry  Kanga (a wooden comb), and a Kirpan (a curved sword) and wear Kachchhera(white color shorts) and Kara( an iron bracelet) for his identification.

In short ,Sikhism emphasisi on the essential monotheistic character of the idea of God and the superiority of the path of devotion  over ritualistic sacrifices and mere books of knowledge and wisdom.

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