World’s youngest monotheistic religion: Religion founded in India (1469) by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and built upon by the nine prophet teachers (Gurus) who succeeded him. The word “Sikh” means disciple or student. Sikhism is distinct from Hinduism or Islam – with its own unique, divine scripture embodied in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sikh Holy Book). It is the fifth largest religion emphasising universality, meaning it is open to all – recognises & respects all human beings as equals. Does not distinguish race, class, caste, or other earthly distinctions between people. Emphasises men & women as equal in all aspects of life. Sikh place of worship is called ‘Gurdwara’
There is Only One God.
Equality of mankind.
Freedom and Liberty for all.
Speaking out against injustice and standing up for the defenseless is considered a Sikh’s duty.
Condemnation of superstitions and blind rituals.
Intoxications such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are strictly forbidden.
Who are Sikhs?
22 million Sikhs worldwide trace the origin of their religion to Panjab, meaning the ‘Land of the 5 rivers’, located in Northern India. Over 5 million Sikhs live outside of India in the UK, Canada and United States.
All Sikh men are identifiable by their distinctive turbans. 99% of people worldwide that wear turbans are Sikhs. Many Sikh women wear ‘smaller’ turbans to keep their head covered as well.
Sikh sacrifices in World Wars
Sikhs have fought in both World Wars with the Allied troops. The Sikh regiments were instrumental in valiantly defeating the Nazis.
‘Naam Japna’ – Remembrance and meditation on God
‘Vand Kae Chhakna’ – meaning to share with others before partaking yourself. Encompasses the principles of living as an inspiration to others and supporting the community (i.e. giving to charity)
‘Kirat Karni’ – Earning a honest living through hard work
Mandatory articles of Faith
Mandated by religion, all initiated Sikhs must carry the five articles of faith, which include the the Keshas (unshorn hair).
the Kirpan (sheathed article of faith)
the Kachhehra — drawers like garment may be made from any cloth, but its legs should not reach down to below the shins;
the Kanga (comb).
the Karha (steel bracelet).”
— The Sikh Rehit Maryada (Code of Conduct)
Representations of articles of faith (the 5K’s)
Kara – Steel bracelet usually worn on the right hand. A symbolic reminder of the commitment of a Sikh to God.
Kanga – Small comb worn in a Sikh’s hair. Represents the importance of discipline and is used to keep the hair clean and untangled.
Kirpan – Article Of Faith, Represents dignity and the Sikh struggle against injustice.
Kesh – Long unshorn hair. The keeping of hair in its natural state is regarded as living in harmony with the will of God.
Kachhehra – Long boxer-like underwear. Represents the commitment of a Sikh to monagamy and sexual restraint.
Where do Sikhs live?
United States of America
All over the World…