2 Who and What is a Sikh?The word ‘Sikh’ in the Punjabi language means ‘disciple’ Sikh’s are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in the Sir Guru Granth Sahib are practical and universal in their appeal to all mankind.
3 “I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The Lord of universe of Hindus, Gosain and Allah to mew are one; From Hindus and Muslims have I broken free. I perform neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One sole Lord I serve, and on other. I perform neither the Hindu worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole Formless Lord in my heart I bow. We neither are Hindu not Muslims; Our body and life belong to the One Supreme Being who alone is both Ram and Allah for us.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Grath Sahib, Raga Bhairon pf 1136)
4 “Any human being who faithfully believes in: i) One Immortal Beingii) Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Dev to Guru Gobind Singhiii) The Guru Granth Sahibiv) The utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus andv) The baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru, and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion is a Sikh.” (Reht Maryada, Sikh Code of Conduct)
5 Sikh Philosophy and Beliefs There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.The soul goes through cycles of birth and death before it reaches the human form. The goal of out life is to lead an exemplary existence for 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.
6 Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, visiting places of pilgrimage, superstition, worship of the dead, idol worship etc.Sikhism preaches 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 religions function or perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.
7 What Sikhs BelieveMonotheistic – Sikhism attempts to reconcile the differences between Hinduism and Islam. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion. Sikhs believe in one God who made the universe and everything in it. They call God “Waheguru”, which means “Wonderful Lord”. They believe God is good and can forgive all sins.Reincarnation – Sikhism teaches that the ultimate purpose in life is to attain complete union with God, and thus to escape the cycle of death and rebirth called samsara. The experiences of union with God is eternal bliss.Sikhs – Sikhs are the followers of the religion of Sikhism. The word “Sikh” comes from the Punjabi language. It means “learner” or “disciple”.Gurus – Sikhs follow the teachings of the 10 leaders called “Gurus”. A guru is a special religious teacher. God’s teachings were given to human beings by these ten Gurus. The first of the Guru’s was called Guru Nanak. The Tenth Guru said there would be no more Gurus to lead the people after him. Instead, their teacher would be the book which contained the teachings of the Gurus. The Sikh holy book is called the Guru Granth Sahib.
8 Sikhs say that the best way to worship God is by living honestly and by caring about other people as the Gurus did. The believe that one cannot live God is one does not care about others. Since God made and loves everyone, everyone is treated equally.When one member of the Khalsa meets another, they are to use this greetings:“Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa,Waheguru Ji Ka Fateh”Which means, “The Khalsa belongs to God; victory belongs to God.”
9 Sikh TeachingsSikhism strives to guide people in their daily lives. The basic teachings of Sikhism is for humankind to exist affably and one equal terms.Some of the basic principles of Sikhism are:One God who has no shape or forms – Sikhs believe there is only one God, the Creator of this universal.Equality for all humankind – Sikhs believe that everyone is equal, regardless of their ethic, racial or religious origins and beliefs.Equality for Women – Sikhs believe that women and men should have equal rights and privileges.The three fundamental rules of Sikhism are:Nam Japo – Meditation on God’s NameKirt Karo – Dignity through honest and hard workWand Chako – Sharing one’s earnings with the needyAcceptance of all religions – Sikhism is not opposed to other faiths. The gurus never claimed Sikhism as the only way to God and salvationA strong Family Life – Sikhism asks its followers to lead the life of a householder and a family person.Sikhism prohibits smoking, alcohol, and the use of intoxicating drugs, adultery, cutting of ones hair, eating meat in the Gurdwaras, and superstitions and ritual practices. There is no special injunction against beef or pork.
10 Life after death God judges the soul soul experiences pleasure or pain God judges the soulsoul experiences pleasure or painGod determines the next life form of the soulTherefore, Sikhs are called to turn to God in two ways:gurbani – listen to hymns from Sikh sacred scripturesmukti – meditate on the name of God
11 Khanda Two swords = kirpans Represents service to God by teaching the truth and fighting for what is right.Double-edged swordA symbol of the power of GodCircle = chakkarStands for God and the unity of people.