Sikhism

By: Cecily, Carter, Amanda, Taylor, Mason, Dylan, Jake

Symbol of Sikhism

The Sikh symbol Khanda was created by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) after its constitution in the early twentieth century, when it depicted the Sikh doctrine Deg Tegh Fateh in emblematic form.

Where sikhism came from

Sikhism was born in the Punjab area of South Asia, which now falls into the present day states of India and Pakistan. The main religions of the area at the time were Hinduism and Islam.

The Sikh faith began around 1500 CE, when Guru Nanak began teaching a faith that was quite distinct from Hinduism and Islam.

Amritsar Massacre

1919 - the Amritsar massacre In April 1919 British troops commanded by General E H Dyer opened fire without warning on 10,000 people who were holding a protest meeting. The troops killed about 400 people and wounded 1,000.

Leader of Sikhism

In the Sikh tradition, all community members are responsible for their own liberation, as well as helping others along the path. Any learned and respected member of the community can read from the holy scripture, offer his or her interpretations, and lead a congregation in prayers, rites, and ceremonies (like marriage). Those individuals whose professions are associated with the holy scripture(custodians of the Gurdwara musicians, scholars, interpreters, and preachers) are afforded respect. However, it is not necessary for a Sikh congregation to pay full-time professionals to administer to these tasks; lay volunteers can fulfill all of a community's needs.

Sikh Beliefs

Members of the religion believe in one God, much like Christianity or Islam.

The main belief is that all people are equal in the eyes of God. All men and all women are equal.

Basically, under the beliefs of Sikhism, all people are free and have the right to their own beliefs.

Sikhs do not follow fasting, worship of idols, and superstition. Sikhs strive to be teachers, fighters, and saints.

Two Branches

Branches of Sikhism

There are two main branches. Both similar beliefs but they have some differences.

Sahajdharis sikhs

The first branch have a few more exceptions, they are:

-Are sometimes clean shaven

-Eat sitting at tables, not on floor

-don't necessarily hold anything against Hindus or muslims

-will occasionally drink alcohol, smoke etc.

Khalsa Sikhs

This is the second branch, they are a bit different:

-Never cut hair or beards

-Dont like Muslims or Hindus

-Do not like the military

Both

Here are what the two branches have in common:

-Believe in one god

-Believe in the 10 Gurus

-Believe in the Reincarnation

-Frown upon pilgrimage, fasting,and the like

-Own a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book)

-Try to be kind, and believe everyone is equal

Belief in Deity

God Almighty is impersonal, formless ultimate reality and He is the Creator, personal savior, inner teacher, omniscient, omnipotent, and incorporeal.
Incarnations
God reveals and manifests Himself through all in the universe, but no finite form can be worshipped as God, who is infinite. God chose to embody the Divine Light in the Guru Nanak and in nine gurus successively, and finally to the scriptures themselves, but none are to be worshipped as God(s).
Salvation is enlightenment, granted by God’s grace only, resulting in liberation from cycles of rebirth and the soul’s merger with God (the Supreme Soul or Guru) after death. Frequent prayer, mediation, and song in praise of God, adult baptism into the Khalsa brotherhood, good works (alms and free food kitchen), morality, and obeying God’s laws (divine words conveyed through 10 human Gurus) demonstrate devotion and purify the soul of impurities accumulated over many prior lifetimes and of the human vices of lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride (or ego).
Undeserved Suffering
Rebirth occurs, but one is not destined to suffer under the law of karma. Suffering is not inflicted directly by God but is permitted by God as a test of courage and faith. Suffering is appreciated for the good that it often brings out in humanity, e.g. compassion. The faithful are most vulnerable to suffering at the hand of evildoers who challenge their faith. Suffering is seen as the remedy and pleasure the disease.
Contemporary Issues
Abortion is a sin. Homosexuality is not addressed in scripture, but one source indicated that it is considered as part of one's karma, and subjects the person to psychic imbalance between female and male energies, which could lead to self-destructive behaviors. Gender equality is a stated position and is emphasized in practice. Remarriage of widows is permitted.
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