Dear people of the world, a very good day to you. How is everyone doing? As always my name is Clark, and today we continue my “Understanding Religions” series. In this brand new part, we look at Sikhism main beliefs, including a bit of its founding history as well as its place in the world in this time and age. We’re going towards the less-practiced religions now, but that’s the super fascinating part. Do you agree?
By the way, here’s part 6 of the series if you missed it.
Sikhs’ Main Beliefs
Sikhs believe in one God. Sikhism teaches the full equality between people of different races, religions, sex, etc.
Sikhs believe in the concept of a soul. They believe it goes through cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth. The quality of one’s life is determined by how well or badly he/she behaved. The goal of a Sikh is to live a good life in order to merge with God. Leading a good life means living honestly, avoiding worldly temptations and sins, doing good deeds, caring for others, and meditating on God. Sikhs believe that God can be experienced through love, worship and contemplation.
Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus or leaders. He was born in 1469, taught a religion that was quite distinct from other faiths, and passed on leadership of Sikhism to nine successor Gurus.
It was said that as a boy, Nanak was fascinated by religion. He eventually left home to explore the mysteries of life. When he was 28 years old, as usual he went down to the river to bathe and meditate but this time he was gone for three days and it was said that when he reappeared, he was filled with the spirit of God. It was from that point onwards that he began teaching Sikhism.
The last of the ten Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, established the Khalsa order (a group of soldier-saints) to defend their faith. After Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikhs’ scriptures (Guru Granth Sahib) became the leader of the Sikhs. It contains poems of the Gurus.
Sikhism in This Time and Age
A Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara and everyone is welcomed. Consistent with their principle of caring for others, there is a free community kitchen in every Gurdwara which serves meals to people of all religions!
Sikhs also reject the caste (status) system of any kind. This is consistent with their belief in the full equality among all people. Women can perform any Sikh ceremony or lead the congregation in prayer.
Hang in There!
This is it for part 7. Gosh, we have gone through 6 religions. Next I will write about Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Shinto, Jainism, Confucianism, Baha’i and Atheism before taking a break on this series or ending it. Most probably I’ll take a break and once I have some more to write about religions I will continue it. I hope you’re enjoying reading this series as much as I am writing it. Please share if you do, and please subscribe to my emails! Come back often to my website. Just leave any questions or comments that you may have below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Thanks a lot!
Part 8: Zoroastrianism