Sikhism is one of the most respected religions of India. Sikhism was first introduced by Guru Nanak Ji in the 15th century. Nearly 21 million people follow this religion and most of the followers are in the Punjab state of India. Punjab is mainly known for the homeland of Sikhism. But this religion is far spread to the northern most part of the country. Some of the followers also live in Europe as well as North America.
Sikhs believe that this world is created by God (Waheguru). Thus he is omnipotent, immanent and also transcendent and omnipotent. Since God is inscrutable, formless and also beyond the reach of human intellect, a relation can only be made by recognizing divine self-expression and truth. Also, the relation is possible only through the means of meditation of God's name and word Shabad. It is also believed that without the grace of guru one is doomed to the cycle of rebirth and death.
The first of ten gurus of Sikhism was Guru Nanak. His message was to incorporate a new social vision of life. He believed in social-equality, collective welfare of all, and also the service for the community. The message of Guru Nanak is linked to the followers in three simple injuctions- to adore the divine name, to work hard, and to share the rewards of one's labor with others.
Worship of Sikhism
The Sikh code of Discipline is officially called Rehat Maryada which is used to prescribe the daily routine for adherents. This specifies that one should rise early between 3 am to 6 am and then have bath. Also, he should then start nam japana i.e. meditating on the God's name. After this the daily player is a must for Sikhs. Between 3 am to 6 am one should recite Japji Sahib, Jap Sahib and also the ten Seayyas. In the evening Sodar Rahiras should be performed and also Kirtan Sohila should be done. For the conclusion of each selection, a prayer must be recited. This player is called Ardas.
The best place to experience the name of God is Gurdwara. This is the worship place for Sikhs. Sikhs should join a daily congregation, and should also listen to the scriptures. While entering Gurdwara one must remove shoes and cover the hair. Followers bend before Guru Granth Sahib and touch their head to the floor. Karah Prashad is served after each session of Sangat. Also, a common kitchen also called langar is present in every Gurdwara where meal is shared amongst Sangat. There are many Gurdwaras in Punjab which are visited by thousands of people every year.
Also, the injunction of Rehat Maryada includes the following:
Festivals celebrated by Sikhs
Sacred Text of Guru Granth Sahib
This is a scared book of the Sikhs. It is said that this text was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev in the year 1604 and is nearly 1430 pages long script text. Hymns and poems of Guru Nanak, his successors, Hindu and Muslim poets are common in this text. Also, on his death Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth guru) in 1708, he decided that there will be no more personal guruship. It will be conserved as the holy script text or Guru Granth Sahib.
History of Sikhism
The Sikh community was strongly influenced by the historical events which are associated with it. At the time of religious reform movement in the northern part of India, Guru Nanak Ji was born. He was born in a Hindu family. Also, he was then succeeded by nine other gurus of Sikhs.Guru Angad (1539-1552) made a script known as Gurumukhi which means from the mouth of Guru. This script was written in Punjabi language. Goindwall was founded by Guru Amar Das (1552-1574). This is a place of pilgrimage where Sikhs used to gather. Guru Ram Das (1574-1581) was the guru who is remembered for the famous place of Amritsar i.e. Golden Temple. This temple is also known as Darbar Sahib.Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606) was very popular gurus of that time. During his leadership the Golden Temple in Punjab was completed. Also, the Guru Granth Sahib(Adi Granth) was also compiled.After him the next Guru was Guru Har Gobind (1606-1644) created a fortress at Amritsar and also Akal Takhat opposite to Harimandar. The seventh guru of Sikhs was Guru Har Rai (1644-1661) and the eighth one was Guru Har Krishan (1661-1664). The leadership of these both gurus was largely uneventful. Then Guru Tegh bahadur (1664-1675) spread the message of peace. Guru Gobind Singh (1675-1708)was the last guru of Sikhs. At the time of his death he decided to put the power of guruship in Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikhs in India and Abroad
There are 2% of Indians who are Sikhs. The population of Sikhs is very much in the world.In the state of Punjab, there are nearly 15 million Sikhs. 4 million of Sikhs are in some of the places of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh. Some of the Sikhs are also found in Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal. Farming is the traditional work of most of the Sikhs. Also Punjab is the richest state of India. Today also many Sikhs contribute their role in serving in armed forces.
In United Kingdom there are 400,000 Sikhs, in Canada 300,000 and in United States nearly 100,000 Sikhs are settled. Sikh community has given a major success to Asia since 1970's. Some of the settlement of Sikh community is also in European countries. Also, the Sikh people are very helpful and graceful. For more information about Sikhism community you can prefer the Sikhism section of PunjabSpider.
More articles: Sikh Gurus and Saints