3 Agenda Origin of Sikhism What is a Sikh? What is a “Guru”? Birth of Sikhism & the 10 GurusBirth of the Khalsa & The “5 Ks”Sikh BeliefsThe Guru Granth SahibGurdwara & The Golden TempleImportance of IdentitySikh Dastar (Turban)Dastar Bandi & Anand KarajSikhs in North America
4 Origin of SikhismCHINAIRANINDIAAFGHANISTANPAKISTANINDIA
5 What is a Sikh? Sikh means “Student” or “Disciple” Sikhism is world’s 5th largest religion, after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism26 million Sikhs worldwide20 million in India1 million in North America99 % of the people wearing TURBANS in America are Sikhs
6 Guru means “Spiritual Enlightener” What is a “Guru”?Guru means “Spiritual Enlightener”The term GURU implies descendant of divine guidance to mankind sent from God.Literally translated: GU–means darkness and RU means light.Thus, “Guru” means the Light that dispels darkness. Therefore, Guru Nanak was the embodiment of divine light.
7 Birth of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev Ji – 1st Guru Born in 1469 during a time when:Rich exploited the poorWomen had no role in societyLand divided by religionCaste system prevailedGuru Nanak founded Sikhism based on equality and justice for all and taught us that all human beings regardless of skin color, wealth, caste, and gender are created equal.“Truth is high; still higher istruthful living” - Guru Nanak Dev Ji
8 Guru Nanak Dev ji’s Principles Naam Japo: Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times (ceaseless devotion to God).Kirat Karō: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud.Vand Chakkō: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need.These principles became the FOUNDATION of Sikhism.
10 The 10 Gurus Guru Nanak Dev ji – Founded Sikhism Guru Angad Dev ji – Introduced new alphabet known as Gurmukhi Script, started langarGuru Amardas ji – Embodiment of Seva (service)Guru Ramdas ji –Built the holy city of AmritsarGuru Arjan Dev ji – Compiled Guru Granth Sahib, built Golden Temple, First Sikh MartyrGuru Hargobind ji – Miri (Temporal Strength) and Piri (Spiritual Strength)Guru Har Rai ji – Opened Free hospitals for those in need,“…man breaks flowers with one hand and offers them with the other, but the flowers perfume both hands alike. The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe.” – Guru Har Rai Ji
11 The 10 GurusGuru Har Krishan ji – Devoted his life to helping the sickGuru Tegh Bahadur ji - Championed religious freedom, martyred while fighting for religious freedomGuru Gobind Singh ji – Created Khalsa (comes from the Persian word “khalis” meaning “Pure”),A splendid Divine Light shone in the darkness of the night. Pir Bhikan Shah, a Muslim mystic performed his prayers in that Easterly direction (instead of towards the West, contrary to his daily practice), and guided by this Divine Light, he traveled with a group of his followers until he reached Patna Sahib in Bihar, India.
12 ‘Birth of the Khalsa’During the spring of 1699, the Guru called his followers for a special gathering. Symbolized a revitalization of the Sikh identity and the evolution of the Sikh community into saint-soldiers. After initiating the five "beloved ones" into the new order of the Khalsa, the Guru knelt before them and requested that they initiate him.Gave the names Singh (“Lion”) to men and Kaur (“Princess”) to women.Khalsa Sikhs identified with the 5 K’s.
13 5 K’s – mandatory articles of faith Kesh - Uncut hair: Sikhs do not cut hair or beards to remain in the image that God gave us.Kachera - Under-shorts (boxers) to represent modesty and fidelity (virtuous character)Kanga - Comb, made of wood - to keep uncut hair neat and clean.Kara - Bracelet, made of steel worn on right hand –a reminder of noble actions, a symbol of eternity.Kirpan - Ceremonial small blunt knife symbolizing freedom, liberty and justice.
14 KhandaThe Khanda: is the double edged sword that represents God’s power, the circle is for continuity, the two outer swords for spiritual and political balance.
15 Sikh Beliefs There is One God for all of creation, a loving Creator attainable through the GraceGoal is to be one with godSelfless service towards the entire CreationTruth, fearless, non-hateful spirit areimportant in attaining salvationAbsolute equality of humanityDefenders of social and spiritual justiceLiving a moral, truthful and hardworking existenceHumility and loving actionDefending the rights of the downtrodden and oppressedBhai Kanhiyapioneer of the Red Cross & humanitarian aide organizations
16 Guru Granth Sahib ji“Guru” means “Spiritual teacher” who dispels the ignorance.“Granth” implies a ‘Scripture containing divine knowledge’.“Sahib” is added as a mark of respect, which literally means “The Master” or “The Lord”.
17 Guru Granth Sahib jiGuru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru declared Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the eternal Guru and ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs.Guru Granth Sahib -the Sikh Scripture is purely monotheistic1430 pagesThe Gurus’ Experience of the DivineAlso included were a few hymns from Hindu and Muslim saints who believed in ONE GodThe main teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib are cultivating a real personal devotion to God, fostering compassion and service for people who are poor or suffering, and promoting equality and seeking harmony among all human beingsThe central theme of the Guru Granth Sahib is concerned with the creation of a just social order and the commitment to social and gender equality and peaceful coexistence
18 Gurdwara – Place of Worship The Sikh religious service follows the traditions started by the 1st Guru to promote equality and alleviate suffering. It has 3 components:Sangat: Community prayer through readings from the Guru Granth Sahib and singing of hymns (Kirtan).Pangat: A sense of equality with everyone seated on the ground - at the same level.Langar: Community vegetarian meal for all.Protocol to be observed in the Gurdwara:Heads coveredShoes removedSit on floorAll are WELCOME
20 The Golden TempleThe Golden Temple is the most sacred of places for the Sikhs.To enter one has to descend stairs – teaches humility.There are doors on all fours sides, which signifies that people from all over the world are invited irrespective of caste, color, religion, and race.24/7 Langar.
22 Sikh Dastar (Turban) Mandatory – not a social or cultural article. Covers long, uncut hair.Approx. 15 feet of cloth wrapped neatly around the head.Boys wear ‘patka’ .Symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility, and spirituality.Middle East head coverings different.99% of people wearing TURBANS in US are Sikhs, not Muslims or Hindus.A Sikh wears a turban because he is proud of being a Sikh, and proud of the values that Sikhism represents – including defense of the innocent, equality of gender, race, caste, and creed, and community service. Today, a fellow American who sees a person wearing a turban in America should feel a sense of security, knowing that every Sikh is honor-bound to stand against tyranny and protect all those who need their help.
25 Importance of Identity Sikhs feel severely humiliated if asked to remove their turban in public, as this breaks a sacred covenant with god and exposes an intimate part of the body.It is very insulting and disrespectful to a Sikh to remove his or her turban.Turbans are a mandatory part of Sikh faith.A turban is not a hat. It cannot be casually taken on and off. It must be carefully retied each time it is removed.Treat the turban with respect.
26 Dastar BandiA very important and exciting event in the life of a Sikh boy comes when he starts tying the turban (Usually between years of age).Family will have a special function to celebrate the occasion, which is called Dastar Bandi.The boy is is seated in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji and an elder ties the turban on his head.Prayers are said to invoke Guru's blessing for the boy.
27 Anand KarajThe Sikh marriage is called 'Anand Karaj' which means the ceremony of joy. The Sikh wedding is held in the morning in a Gurdwara in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.One Soul in Two Bodies "They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies." (Guru Amar Das Ji, Pauri, pg 788, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)
28 Sikhs in North America Arrived around late 1890’s Places California, Oregon and WashingtonBritish ColumbiaFarming & Lumber IndustryImmigration Barriers by 1920’sSan Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 1899Vancouver Diamond Jubilee 1897 Hong Kong Regiment
29 Some Sikh Public Faces Gurbax Singh Mahli First Turbaned Sikh in Canadian ParliamentDr. Manmohan SinghIndian Prime MinisterBaltej Singh DhillonFirst Turbaned Sikh inRoyal Canadian Mounted PoliceNarinder Singh KapaniFather of Fiber OpticsT Sher SinghRecognized with theOrder of Canada
30 Some Sikh Public Faces Nuvraj Singh Bassi University of Oregon Football PlayerColonel SekhonUnited States ArmyAmrit and Rabindra KaurArtistsBhagat Singh ThindUS Army 1912
31 Respect for All Equality of all religions and people Give relevance to God rather than religionBelievers of interfaith diversitySikhism believes that there are many paths to God. Anyone can achieve salvation irrespective of the religion that they follow if they endear God in their heart and daily actions
32 References SikhiWiki (www.Sikhiwiki.org) SikhNet (www.sikhnet.com) All About Sikhs (www.allaboutsikhs.org)Sikh Council USA (www.sikhcouncilusa.org)GAISS (www.guruangadinstitute.org)UNITED SIKHS (www.unitedsikhs.org)SALDEF (www.saldef.org)Sikh Coalition (www.sikhcoalition.org)