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We believe in:
  • One supreme god
  • 10 gurus including Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh
  • The Guru Granth Sahib (a 1430 page book otherwise known as our perpetual Guru)
  • Baptism with the amrit from Khande di Paul (ceremony of initiation or baptism)
The Five Ks, or panj kakaar/kakke, are five items of faith that we wear at all times at the command of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh:
  • Kesh (uncut hair)
  • Kanga (wooden comb)
  • Kaccha (specially-designed underwear)
  • Kara (iron bracelet)
  • Kirpan (strapped sword).
Some basic beliefs:
  • There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.
  • The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence so that one may merge with God. Sikhs should remember God at all times and practice living a virtuous and truthful life while maintaining a balance between their spiritual obligations and temporal obligations.
  • The true path to achieving salvation and merging with God does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.
  • We condemn blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.
  • We also preach that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women. Women can participate in any religious function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.
We have a few stereotypes. We are generally the ones who produce/listen to the excellent music of bhangra. We are also the ones who produce the excellent food of India; we call it punjabi food.
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A Dhol Blaster playing the dhol, an instrument of bhangra music.
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Shahi Paneer, one of our most well-known VEGETARIAN dishes.
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Sikhs (Punjabis) 1690-present



Bhangra music, we dig it.
external image b_khanda.gifThe Khanda (description below)
external image punjab.jpg
Harimandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
external image 300px-Guru_Nanak_Udasis.jpg
A map of the travels of our Guru Nanak-ji as he spread our faith of Sikhism

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Religion

We are a syncratic faith of Hinduism and Islam. The principal belief in our faith in Vahiguru is represented using the sacred symbol of ek oankar. We advocate the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. The Khanda is the symbol of our faith, as the Cross is to Christians or the Star of David is to Jews. It reflects some of the fundamental concepts of our faith. The symbol derives its name from the double-edged sword (also called a Khanda) which appears at the center of the logo. This double-edged sword is a metaphor of Divine Knowledge, its sharp edges cleaving Truth from Falsehood.
Our religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the worlds 5th largest religion. We are a religion of over 23.5 million people worldwide with most living in the Punjab province of India and a very large amount in regions of London and worldwide. We preach a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all.
Our faith does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru felt that they had become corrupt and full of ego. However, we do have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (granthi). All people of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. A free community kitchen can be found at every Gurdwara which serves meals to people of all faiths. Guru Nanak first started this institution which outlined our basic principles of service, humility and equality. The most significant historical religious center for us is Harmiandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in the state of Punjab in northern India. It is the inspirational and historical center of our faith but is not a mandatory place of pilgrimage or worship. All places where Sri Guru Granth Sahib are installed are considered equally holy for us.

Blog

Blog Entry #1: Heaven or Hell?
Today I began thinking to myself...as a Sikh, do we go to heaven or hell? What happens to us after we die? To answer these questions, I opened up my Guru Granth Sahib and learned that our Guru Nanak's teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven or hell, but on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation. The chief obstacles to the attainment of salvation are social conflicts and an attachment to worldly pursuits, which commit men and women to an endless cycle of birth (or Karma) Interesting stuff, eh?
Blog Entry #2: Guru Nanak's Birthday
Today, April 15th, was Guru Nanak's birthday. Like a good Sikh, I observed some of our traditional Sikh traditions on this day. The day began early in the morning with the singing of Asa-di-Var (morning hymns) and hymns from the Sikh scriptures followed by Katha (exposition of the scripture, I went to my aunt's house, AWESOME food) Following that was Langar or special community lunch, which was arranged at the Gurudwaras by my many aunts and uncles. The idea behind the free communal lunch is that people should be offered food in the spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion). I seriously must've gained like 5 pounds by now...Can't wait until next year!
Blog Entry #3: Harimandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
Today, I and my family visited the Golden Temple. It was one of the most enlightening experiences ever. The temple is surrounded by a pool of water, known as the Sarovar which consists of Amrit (Holy Water). There are four entrances to the temple, signifying the importance of acceptance and openness; ostensibly, this concept was taken from the tent of Abraham in the Old Testament — his tent was open on all four sides in order to be able to welcome travelers from all directions. Anyone who wants to enter the Harimandir may do so, irrespective of religion, color, creed or sex. After having washed our faces and hands with holy water of sarovar we took the whole round of sarovar and went inside main hall where there granthis were reciting Granth Sahib. Never before have I seen so many Sikhs in one place.

The Wall


=References=* Singh Brar, Sandeep. The Sikhism Homepage. <http://www.sikhs.org/>
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