Sikh Religion

Sikh religion originated in India. Sikhism in India was founded by Guru Nanak, the first of the Ten Gurus of the Sikhs.

Sikhism in India

Sikhism Religion

Sikhism in India - Sikhs are just 2% of Indian population but their men are instantly recognizable for their 'pagadis' or turbans, beards and long hair. Established as a religion by Guru Nanak who was born into a Hindu family of Punjab in 1469, Sikhism is a relatively new religion of India and includes the best of Hinduism and Islam. He was called 'Guru' or teacher as he preached humanity and his followers were known as 'Sikhs' or learners. The religion believed in one God with no form like Islam and Karma and reincarnation like Hinduism. The Hindu caste system and the heartless custom of 'Sati', burning the widow on husband's funeral pyre were abolished in this religion. Everyone was accorded equal rights and pilgrimage, fasting and superstitions got no favor in this religion. It has no clergy class as they were considered to be the intruders and gateways to corruption.

The holy worship places for Sikhs are known as Gurdwaras. The holiest of all Gurudwaras in India is the Hari Mandir or the 'Golden Temple' in Amritsar in Punjab. The religion emphasizes community services and helping the needy and the most common and distinct feature of the religion is the common kitchen called 'Langar', where all the followers of the religion are supposed to contribute in preparing the meals in the free kitchen, which are then served to all. Guru Nanak was the first Guru of Sikhism and was followed by nine more Gurus. The teachings of the nine of them are included in Guru Granth Sahib. The last of all Gurus was Guru Gobind Singh, who declared this Holy book to be the Guru of the Sikhs. It is written in Gurumukhi script.

The teachings of this last Guru were included in a separate book called Dasam Granth. Guru Gobind Singh was instrumental in converting Sikhs to a community of fighters and giving them the surname of 'Singh' meaning lion to fight back the Mughal Empire and their oppression on Sikhs. There is a ceremony of baptizing a child in Sikhs, giving the title of 'Singh' to the boys and 'Kaur' meaning princess to the girls. Some of the first Sikhs came from Hindi warrior caste known as Rajputs. The five marks of Sikhs are the 5 K's including Kesh, kangha, Kripana, Kada and Kachcha meaning uncut hair, comb, dagger, bracelet on the right wrist and shorts respectively. Even today, one can see the emphasis on militant tradition and community service in Sikhism.

Indian Sikhs are known for the community service and martial tendencies that Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru introduced to them.