Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded by Guru Nanak Dev in the 15th century in the area of Punjab, India. The people of Sikhi are titled Sikhs, otherwise known as students. The 25.8 million and consistently growing members of the religion make Sikhism the 5th largest religion in the world. The traditional philosophy of Sikhism is known as the Gurmat.
The Sikhism followers seek to resemble the Sant-Sipahi, the saint soldiers. The Sant Sipahi concept means a "Warrior Saint" in Sikhism. The translation of Sant Sipahi is broken down as such: Sant meaning wise and Sipahi meaning Soldier or Warrior. SANT is translated as saint. Saintly refers to a person of holiness. The word is a loose form of the word Sat, meaning true or truth, wise, or real. The additional duty of an individual practicing Sikhism is to be readily available to fight for a good or righteous cause, and protect the week.
A personal principle belief of the Sikhs is to have faith and justice in Waheguru. Waheguru is the reference to God, the creator, and the sustainer in Sikhism. The literal translation of Waheguru is Wonderful Lord. Waheguru is the most common and important term used to represent God. Other common names for God are Nir-Vair, Gobind, and Hari. People are not to have any prejudices of people, and are to help those who are being persecuted.
Sikhs are to follow the Holy Scriptures entitled Guru Granth Sahib Ji. There were ten leaders of faith (Sikh gurus) or enlightened leaders. The 10th and last guru is responsible for the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Holy Scripture. This is considered the primary source of the scripture for Sikhism. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji may also be referred to as The First Volume or the literal translation, Adi Granth. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji, with the six of the ten Sikh Gurus, is said to have numerous faith members works included in the scriptures. In 1678 Guru Gobind Singh compiled the final version of the Guru Granth Sahib. The final and eleventh version consists of the Adi Granth and hymns from Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Sikhism's origins are in Guru Nanak's (the founder of Sikhism) teachings and its enlightened leaders. Its teachings lie strongly with the principle of human equality and it discards discrimination specifically on the basis of "caste, creed, and gender".
Sikhism's God (Vahiguru) is symbolized as "1", God is number one, omnipresent, and sightless. Prior to Earth and the creation of humans, there was only God and his will to create (hukam). God willed and therefore created the universe, thereby being omnipresent (sarav viapak) in all that God created. He then instilled the characteristics of enticement and attachment into humans. According to Sikhism God has been linked to have created numerous worlds and is considered to not be linked to any form of sex. God is neither male nor female.
anak described God as "visible" to the spiritually awakened through "the inward eye or heart". Guru Nanak Dev stated that the communication between humans and God is possible through meditation. Meditation is attaining a state of higher consciousness by retraining our awareness to operate from our super-conscious level. We must disengage the mind away from the mundane interactions of our daily lives and connect to a higher level of awareness.
The collective Gurus have developed and passed down a list of beneficial elements that pull one closer to the Lord. These elements are entitled The Five Virtues which include the following:
Daya, otherwise known as compassion.
Sat, meaning truth.
Santokh, which translates to contentment.
Nimrata, meaning humility.
Pyare, which means love.
The afterlife concept of Sikhism doesn't use the concepts of heaven and hell. The inevitable destination of the spirit involves one's union with God ending with salvation. Guru Gobind Singh (the 10th Guru) created the Khalsa Code of conduct which contains four kurahits (Sikhism rules of conduct one is not to perform) which includes: (One is considered a patit if they fail to abide by these kurahits).
The shaving or trimming of one's hair.
Eating kuttha or halal meat which is the slaughtered flesh of an animal such as it would be slaughtered in a "Muslim way".
Premarital sex – one may not have sexual relations with anyone whom they aren't married to.
The use of any form of tobacco.
As with the overwhelming majority of religions, Sikhism has a specific list of actions or emotions that spread the distance between a member of the congregation and the religion's God or Supreme Being. These concepts are known as "Maya". Nanak described Maya as the unrealistic values of the world. Sikhism's list is known as The Five evils consisting of:
After falling from grace due to being influenced by The Five Evils, one may be redeemed only if intensive persistent devotion is practiced.
Ego is the worst of The Five Evils. It's one made up of various parts of one's personality including defensive, execution, and intellectual cognitive functions. Sigmund Freud's revised definition of ego "is a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning and memory." Although ego is one of the sources that block one's reunion with God, the cure to the disease lies within ego as well. Ego can be used by one as a positive attribute and may also be abused and become the worst personal trait a person can hold.
Other various prohibitions and diet restrictions are:
Adultery: The physical unfaithfulness of a married individual. This prohibition is known throughout the religious spectrum.
Superstitions and rituals: Circumcision, worshiping idols and graves, clothing rituals, fasting, etc…
Obsession of materialistic items: This includes the accumulation of wealth.
Egotistical & negative talk: Gossiping, bragging, and lying are merely three of many forms of negative talking.
Untraditional living style: Sikhs are to live a traditional family life and not allow distractions sway you off the path, from various extreme actions as being a recluse to the opposite end of the spectrum such as practicing celibacy and all that lies in between.
The foundation of Sikhism includes Simran and Sewa. These concepts include the requirement of practicing Naam. The two types of Naam practiced are Simran and Jaap. Naam Simran is the repetitive word of God within one's mind and Naam Jaap is the recitation of God aloud. Sewa is the practice of selfless acts in assisted living communities, and in situations where people need assistance after destruction and disaster has stricken their homes and family. Generally Sewa is the basic concept of volunteerism with organizations that help people that have experienced horrible situations.
The 25.8 million Sikhs worldwide make up an approximate mere 0.39% of the world's population. Sikhs make up about 60% of India's population. The Punjab region consists of approximately 75% Sikhism religious followers. Although Sikhism has an over whelming number of followers, it only makes up an astronomically low 2% of the entire Indian population.