Sikhism

Sikhism

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Sikhism'
Start a new discussion about 'Sikhism'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia


Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

, by Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

  and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

 (the last teaching being the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

). It is the fifth-largest
Major religious groups
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice...

 organized religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in the world and one of the fastest-growing. This system of religious philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat
Gurmat
Gurmat is a term which may in its essential sense be taken to be synonymous with Sikhism itself. It literally means to "have your face towards the guru". It covers doctrinal, prescriptive and directional aspects of Sikh faith and praxis...

 (literally 'of the gurus'). Punjab of India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.

Sikhs embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipahie"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh must also have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of religion, colour, caste or creed. Baptized Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s are initiated into the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

, the Khalsa is "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh (10th guru of Sikhism) clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The principal beliefs of Sikhi are faith and justice, in Waheguru
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—represented by the phrase , meaning one God. Sikhi advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. The followers of Sikhi are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

, or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

, which, along with the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, includes selected works of many devotees from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. The text was decreed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, the tenth guru, as the final guru of the Sikh religion. Sikhi's traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture of Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. Adherents of Sikhi are known as Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s (students or disciples) and number over 26 million across the world. Most Sikhs live in Punjab, India, although there is a significant Sikh diaspora
Sikh diaspora
The Sikh diaspora is a relatively recent term used to describe the phenomenon of Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the Punjab region. Sikhism is an ethnic religion but welcomes converts, the Punjab region being the historic homeland of Sikhism...

. Until the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

, millions of Sikhs lived in what is now Pakistani Punjab.

Philosophy and teachings




The origins of Sikhi lie in the teachings of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 and his successors. The essence of Sikh teaching is summed up by Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 in these words: "Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living". Sikh teaching emphasizes the principle of equality of all humans and rejects discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and gender. Sikh principles encourage living life as a householder.

Sikhi is a monotheistic and a revealed religion. In Sikhi, God—termed Vāhigurū
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—is shapeless
Nirankar
Nirankar means without form or formless and is used in the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, to refer to God....

, timeless
Akal
Akal literally timeless, immortal, non-temporal, is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustat; i.e., In Praise of the Timeless One . However, the concept of Akal...

, and sightless
Alakh Niranjan
Alakh Niranjan is a term in Hinduism and Sikhism where it is used a synonym for Creator, and to describe the characteristics of God and the Self, known as the Atman. Alakh means "sightless" and niranjan means "spotfree"...

: , akāl, and alakh. The beginning of the first composition of Sikh scripture is the figure "1"—signifying the universality of God. It states that God is omnipresent and infinite, and is signified by the term ēk ōaṅkār
Ek Onkar
Ik Onkar is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. It is a symbol of the unity of God in Sikhism, and is found on all religious scriptures and places such as Gurdwaras. Derived from Punjabi, Ik Onkār is the first phrase in the Mul Mantar referring to the existence of "one constant" taken to...

. Sikhs believe that before creation, all that existed was God and God's hukam
Hukam
Hukam is a Punjabi word derived from the Arabic hukm, meaning "command" or "order." In God whose is referred to as Waheguru. It is by the command of Him that we are born and we die. In the Sikh Scripture, the founder of the religion, Guru Nanak says:...

(will or order). When God willed, the entire cosmos was created. From these beginnings, God nurtured "enticement and attachment" to māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

, or the human perception of reality.

While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings, Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 described God as not wholly unknowable. God is omnipresent (sarav viāpak
Sarav viapak
Sarav Viapak is a term used to describe omnipresence of God in Sikhism. It translates as an "all prevading god". In Sikhism, God is held to be without form, shape colour etc. It is present in every living being in Universe....

) in all creation and visible everywhere to the spiritually awakened. Nanak stressed that God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart", of a human being: devotees must meditate to progress towards enlightenment. Guru Nanak Dev emphasized the revelation through meditation, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings. God has no gender in Sikhi, (though translations may incorrectly present a male God); indeed Sikhi teaches that God is "Akal Purkh" with characteristic of "Nirankar" [Niran meaning "without" and kar meaning "form", hence "without form"]. In addition, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which God has created life.

Pursuing salvation and khalsa



Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

's teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 or hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, but on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

. The official Khalsa Code of Conduct laid out by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, makes it clear that human birth is only obtained once, so you get this one chance to live, therefore one needs to be able to handle this chance. The Sikhs believe in living 'Chakar Vati'-roaming free as freedom, not as slaves or be oppressed.

Māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

—defined as illusion or "unreality"—is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: people are distracted from devotion by worldly attractions which give only illusive satisfaction. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhi, the influences of ego
Ahankar
Hankār is the Gurmukhi word originated from a Sanskrit word Ahankāra which translates to mean ego or excessive pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual the feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than he is...

, anger
Krodh
Krodh is derived from the Sanskrit word krodha, which means wrath or Rage. This is an emotion recognized in the Sikh system as a spring of desire and is as such counted as one of the Five Evils....

, greed
Lobh
Lobh is a Gurmukhi word which translates in English to greed; it is a strong desire for worldly possessions and a constant focus on possessing material items, especially the urge to possess what rightfully belongs to others. According to Sikhism, it makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It...

, attachment
Moh
Moh stands in ancient texts for perplexity or confusion as also for the cause of confusion, that is, avidya or ajnana ....

, and lust
Kam
Kam meaning deep desire, uncontrolled longing, concupiscence, sensuality or lasciviousness is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities in Sikhism. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil...

—known as the Five Evils—are believed to be particularly pernicious. The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.

Nśabad (the divine Word) to emphasise the totality of the revelation. Nanak designated the word guru (meaning teacher) as the voice of God and the source and guide for knowledge and salvation. Salvation can be reached only through rigorous and disciplined devotion to God. Nanak distinctly emphasised the irrelevance of outward observations such as rites, pilgrimages, or asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

. He stressed that devotion must take place through the heart, with the spirit and the soul. According to Gurbani the supreme purpose of human life is to reconnect with Truth. However, our Ego is the biggest disease in the reunion with Truth / God and the solution to this disease also lies within human ego (mind and body). With Guru's grace the seeker meditates honestly on "Word" which leads to the end of ego. Guru is indistinguishable from God and are one and same thing as God which cannot be found with thousands of wisdoms. One gets connected with Guru only with accumulation of selfless search of truth. Ultimately the seeker realizes that it is the consciousness within the body which is seeker / follower and Word is true Guru. Human body is just a means to achieve the reunion with Truth. Truth is a form of matter which lies within human body but is beyond the realm of time / death. Once truth starts to shine in a person’s heart, the essence of current and past holy books of all religions is understood by the person.

A key practice to be pursued is : remembrance of the divine Name. The verbal repetition of the name of God or a sacred syllable is an established practice in religious traditions in India, but Nanak's interpretation emphasized inward, personal observance. Nanak's ideal is the total exposure of one's being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 or the "Divine Order". Nanak described the result of the disciplined application of as a "growing towards and into God" through a gradual process of five stages. The last of these is (The Realm of Truth)—the final union of the spirit with God.

Guru Nanak stressed now kirat karō
Kirat karo
Kirat Karō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, the others being Naam Japo and Vaṇḍ chakkō. The term means to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising one's God-given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and...

: that a Sikh should balance work, worship, and charity, and should defend the rights of all creatures, and in particular, fellow human beings. They are encouraged to have a , or optimistic, view of life. Sikh teachings also stress the concept of sharing——through the distribution of free food at Sikh gurdwara
Gurdwara
A Gurdwara , meaning the Gateway to the Guru, is the place of worship for Sikhs, the followers of Sikhism. A Gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib ....

s (), giving charitable donations, and working for the good of the community and others (sēvā).

Ten gurus and religious authority




The term guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

 comes from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 gurū, meaning teacher, guide, or mentor. The traditions and philosophy of Sikhi were established by ten specific gurus from 1469 to 1708. Each guru added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous, resulting in the creation of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 was the first guru and appointed a disciple as successor. Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 was the final guru in human form. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh decreed that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 would be the final and perpetual guru of the Sikhs.

Guru Angad Dev succeeded Guru Nanak. Later, an important phase in the development of Sikhi came with the third successor, Guru Amar Das. Guru Nanak's teachings emphasised the pursuit of salvation; Guru Amar Das began building a cohesive community of followers with initiatives such as sanctioning distinctive ceremonies for birth, marriage, and death. Amar Das also established the manji (comparable to a diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

) system of clerical supervision.

Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552.-His life:...

's successor and son-in-law Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das was the fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 30 August 1574.-Early life:Ram Das was born in Lahore, Punjab on 24 September 1534[1] to a Sodhi family of the Khatri clan. His father was Hari Das and his mother Anup Devi. His wife was Bibi Bhani,...

 founded the city of Amritsar
Amritsar
Amritsar is a city in the northern part of India and is the administrative headquarters of Amritsar district in the state of Punjab, India. The 2001 Indian census reported the population of the city to be over 1,500,000, with that of the entire district numbering 3,695,077...

, which is home of the Harimandir Sahib and regarded widely as the holiest city for all Sikhs. When Guru Ram Das's youngest son Arjan succeeded him, the line of male gurus from the Sodhi Khatri family was established: all succeeding gurus were direct descendants of this line. Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 was captured by Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 authorities who were suspicious and hostile to the religious order he was developing. His persecution and death inspired his successors to promote a military and political organization of Sikh communities to defend themselves against the attacks of Mughal forces.

The Sikh gurus established a mechanism which allowed the Sikh religion to react as a community to changing circumstances. The sixth guru, Guru Hargobind
Guru Har Gobind
Guru Hargobind Sahib, also Saccha Badshah was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution...

, was responsible for the creation of the concept of Akal Takht
Akal Takht
The Akal Takht of the Timeless One or Seat of God. It is one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs equivalent to any parliament of world sovereign country. Akal means The Timeless One - another term for God. Takht means 'seat' or 'throne' in Persian...

 (throne of the timeless one), which serves as the supreme decision-making centre of Sikhi and sits opposite the Darbar Sahib. The (a representative portion of the Khalsa Panth) historically gathers at the Akal Takht on special festivals such as Vaisakhi or Hola Mohalla and when there is a need to discuss matters that affect the entire Sikh nation. A gurmatā
Gurmata
A Gurmata is an order passed by the Sarbat Khalsa in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. A gurmata may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion and is binding upon all Sikhs....

(literally, guru's intention) is an order passed by the in the presence of the Gurū Granth Sāhib. A gurmatā may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion; it is binding upon all Sikhs. The term hukamnāmā
Hukamnama
A Hukamnama refers to a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib which is given as an order to Sikhs or a historical order given by one of the Guru's of Sikhism....

(literally, edict or royal order) is often used interchangeably with the term gurmatā. However, a hukamnāmā formally refers to a hymn from the Gurū Granth Sāhib which is a given order to Sikhs.

History



Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhi, was born in the village of Rāi Bhōi dī Talwandī, now called Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 (in present-day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

). His parents were Khatri
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

 Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s of the Bedi clan. As a boy, Nanak was fascinated by God and religion. He would not partake in religious rituals or customs and oddly meditated alone. His desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home and take missionary journeys.

In his early teens, Nanak caught the attention of the local landlord Rai Bular Bhatti, who was moved by his amazing intellect and divine qualities. Rai Bular was witness to many incidents in which Nanak enchanted him and as a result Rai Bular and Nanak's sister Bibi Nanki, became the first persons to recognise the divine qualities in Nanak. Both of them then encouraged and supported Nanak to study and travel. At the age of thirty, Nanak went missing and was presumed to have drowned after going for one of his morning baths to a local stream called the Kali Bein. On the day he arrived, he declared: "There is no Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, there is no Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

" (in Punjabi, "nā kōi hindū nā kōi musalmān"). It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhi. Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, he is widely acknowledged to have made five major journeys, spanning thousands of miles, the first tour being east towards Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

, the second south towards Andhra and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, the third north towards Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, and Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, and the fourth tour west towards Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. In his last and final tour, he returned to the banks of the Ravi River to end his days.

Growth of Sikhi and Rise of Khalsa



The tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, created the Khalsa. Which means "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The Sikh Khalsa rise to power began during the 17th century. During a time of of growing militancy against the Muslim rule. The creation of a Sikh Empire began when Guru Gobind Singh sent his brave Sikh general, Banda Singh Bahadur along with some hundred Singhs to punish those who had committed atrocities against Pir Buddhu Shah and avenge the murder of his youngest sons. Banda Singh with a large group of Sikhs advanced towards the main Muslim Mughal city of Sirhind and followed the instructions of the guru he punished all the culprits. Soon after the invasion of Sirhind, Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed by a Pathan assassin hired by Mughals, Jamshed Khan stabbed the Guru in the left side below the heart while he was resting in his chamber after the Rehras prayer. Guru Gobind Singh killed the attacker with his sword, while the assassins companion tried to flee but was killed by some Sikhs who had rushed in on hearing the noise. A European surgeon stitched the Guru's wound. However, the wound re-opened as the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow after a few days, and caused profuse bleeding. Seeing his end was near, the Guru declared the Granth Sahib as the next Guru of the Sikhs.[29]

He then sang his self-composed hymn:
"Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru Maneyo Granth, Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."

Translation of the above:
"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The Khalsa shall rule, and impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved."

The death of the Guru reached Banda Singh and Sikhs all over Punjab. After this the Sikhs took over many Muslim and Mughal lands, establishing a Sikh Empire.
Other existing Muslim Emperors proclaimed a jihad or a holy war against Banda Singh and the Khalsa. However many Muslim army’s and their Generals fled in dismay and despair after Wazir Khan's head was stuck up on a spear and lifted high up by a Sikh who took his seat at Sirhind, Muslim troops on beholding the head took alarm. Many Muslims embraced Sikhism and joined the Khalsa. Banda Singh at this time also married the daughter of a Muslim General, . However the concept of jihad was re-proclaimed, it took over 60,000 Muslim troops to capture 400 Sikh's and Banda Singh, where Banda Singh was captured and tortured. Banda Singh's mission played an important development of the Dal Khalsa and the Sikh Misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

s, which eventually led to a new king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh may refer to:*Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire*Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur, the Jat ruler of the Bharatpur princely state in Rajasthan, India...

 capturing Lahore in 1799 and establishing the Sikh Kingdom of Punjab. The new king and the Sikh Misls rose to power in a series of sweeping military and diplomatic victories. Increasing the number of Sikhs and spreading the Empire further. His vast empire comprised almost 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) of what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India.
The Empire of the Sikhs was widely feared by many natives including Muslims, Hindus, Persians and many Asian countries. Even many Pathans who had previously lived their during the Islamic rule, attempted many times to attack the Empire with over 20,000 troops, in which case Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his most bravest Sikh warrior, named Akali Phula Singh Nihang (at the age of 65) and a few hundred Singhs to deal with the Invading Pathans and bring them under control. Soon during a battle, a Pathan hiding behind a boulder shot Akali Phula Singh from close range during a battle with a number of Pathan soldiers began shooting him. Akali Phula Singh was found bullet ridden.

British recruit of Sikhs


The Sikhs remained control of the Empire, faced many odds and overcame them all, however another challenge was yet to come. In the East, the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 took over thousands of square miles of land, including eastern parts of India and many Asian countries, soon reaching the Sikh Empire where the British would also meet their biggest challenge during their Conquest.

Both British and Sikh sides lost many troops and heavy number of materials in various battles, such as the Anglo-Sikh wars
Anglo-Sikh wars
There have been two Anglo-Sikh wars:*The First Anglo-Sikh War *The Second Anglo-Sikh War...

. The British was claimed to be unbeatable, but Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikhs were the only people who could stand toe to toe with the British forces. For the first time during the British Conquest the British were unable to invade and resulted in both sides having to stop and come to terms. Narrated by Mohanlal Kashmiri, Secretary to Sir Alexander Burnes, Maharaja Ranjit Singh replied to the British, "As long as I'm alive, the British will never conquest here."
This led to further Anglo-Sikh wars and further loss on both sides. In 1839, the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Empire fell on the shoulders of his son, Maharaja Duleep Singh (at the age of 11). The Empire had fallen. The British Commission General describes Maharaja Ranjit Singh, "was by all accounts a fierce and revered conquerer."


After seeing the strength of the Sikhs in Punjab, the British then decided to recruit as many Sikhs as possible into the British Army. Sikhs accounted for over 25% of the British soldiers who fought in WW1 and WW2 (that is more then the Irish, Scottish and Welsh combined). The Sikhs won over 24 battle honours, including one very long task which took almost a week for the British Army to push back the German Army, however on Friday 1916, the Sikh Regiment was sent in and the Sikhs pushed back the German Invaders in a night.
It was because of the Sikhs that Hitler was unable to cross the borders of France (an easy gateway into invading Britain). Hitler after seeing the strength of the Sikhs even announced "If I had just a small battalion of Sikhs I shall conquer the world". Sikhs believe dying on the battle field is the greatest death a Sikh can have, during the World Wars when the British soldiers ran out of ammunition Sikhs would take out their swords and march towards the enemy, fighting to their last breaths, literally taking the words of their tenth guru to heart "When all means fail it is righteous to raise sword".
Even today the British Army are so keen to recruit as many Sikhs as possible.

Political advancement


Hargobind, became the sixth guru of the Sikhs. He carried two swords—one for spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 and the other for temporal
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 reasons (known as mīrī and pīrī in Sikhi). Sikhs grew as an organized community and under the 10th Guru the Sikhs developed a trained fighting force to defend their independence. In 1644, Har Rai
Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai was the seventh of ten living Gurus of the Sikhs who became Guru on 8 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind, who was the sixth guru. Before he died, he nominated five year old Har Krishan, his youngest son as the next Guru of the Sikhs...

 became guru followed by Harkrishan, the boy guru, in 1661. No hymns composed by these three gurus are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Tegh Bahadur became guru in 1665 and led the Sikhs until 1675. Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 for helping to protect the faith of Hindus, after a delegation of Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

s came to him for help when the Emperor was killing those who refused to convert to Islam. He was succeeded by his son, Gobind Rai who was just nine years old at the time of his father's death. Gobind Rai further militarised his followers, and was baptised by the when he formed the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 on March 30, 1699. From here on in he was known as Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

From the time of Nanak the Sikhs had significantly transformed. Even though the core Sikh spiritual philosophy was never affected, the followers now began to develop a political identity. Conflict with Mughal authorities escalated during the lifetime of Teg Bahadur and Gobind Singh. The latter founded the Khalsa in 1699. The Khalsa is a disciplined community that combines its spiritual purpose and goals with political and military duties. After Aurangzeb killed four of his sons, Gobind Singh sent Aurangzeb the Zafarnamah
Zafarnamah
Zafarnāmah means the Epistle of Victory and is the name given to the letter sent by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 1705 to the Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb. The letter is written in Persian verse....

 (Notification/Epistle of Victory).

Shortly before his death, Gobind Singh ordered that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 (the Sikh Holy Scripture), would be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs and temporal authority would be vested in the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

—the Sikh Nation.

A former ascetic was charged by Gobind Singh with the duty of punishing those who had persecuted the innocents in Punjab. After the Guru's death, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur became the commander-in-chief of the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and was responsible for several attacks on the Mughal empire. He was executed by the emperor Farukh Siyar after refusing the offer of a pardon if he converted to Islam.

The Sikh nation's embrace of military and political organisation made it a considerable regional force in medieval India and it continued to evolve after the demise of the gurus. After the death of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Sikh Confederacy
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 of Sikh warrior bands known as misls were formed. With the decline of the Mughal empire, a Sikh Empire arose in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

, with its capital in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and limits reaching the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

 and the borders of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The order, traditions and discipline developed over centuries culminated at the time of Ranjit Singh to give rise to the common religious and social identity that the term "Sikhi" describes.

After the death of Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Empire fell into disorder and was eventually annexed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 after the hard-fought First
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

 and Second
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

 Anglo-Sikh Wars. This brought the Punjab under the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. Sikhs formed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is an organization in India responsible for the upkeep of gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship in three states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. SGPC also administers Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Gurdwaras in Delhi are the administered by Delhi Sikh...

 and the Shiromani Akali Dal
Shiromani Akali Dal
The Shiromani Akali Dal , translation: Supreme Akali Party) is a Sikh nationalist political parties based in Punjab. The current party to be recognized by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Parkash Singh Badal...

 to preserve Sikhs' religious and political organization a quarter of a century later. With the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947, thousands of Sikhs were killed in violence and millions were forced to leave their ancestral homes in West Punjab
West Punjab
West Punjab was a province of Pakistan from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 160,622 km², including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely state of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province...

. Sikhs faced initial opposition from the Government in forming a linguistic state that other states in India were afforded. The Akali Dal started a non-violence movement for Sikh and Punjabi rights. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in India, who supported implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In 1981, Bhindranwale was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder of Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind...

 emerged as a leader of the Damdami Taksal
Damdami Taksal
The Damdami Taksal is a 300 years old educational organization said to have been founded by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. According to the Damdami Taksal, it was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the reading , analysis and recitation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind...

 in 1977 and promoted a more militant solution to the problem. In June 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 ordered the Indian army to launch Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star ) 3– 6 June 1984 was an Indian military operation, ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, to remove Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar...

 to remove Bhindranwale and his followers from the Darbar Sahib. Bhindranwale and his accompanying followers were killed during the army's operations. In October, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards. The assassination was followed by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
1984 anti-Sikh riots
The 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms / riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre was a sikh genocide there was four days of violence in northern India, particularly Delhi, during which armed mobs killed Sikhs, looted and set fire to Sikh homes, businesses and schools, and attacked gurdwaras, in response to the...

. and Hindu-Sikh conflicts in Punjab, as a reaction to Operation Blue Star and the assassin.

Scripture


There is one primary source of scripture for the Sikhs: the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The Gurū Granth Sāhib may be referred to as the Ādi Granth—literally, The First Volume—and the two terms are often used synonymously. Here, however, the Ādi Granth refers to the version of the scripture created by Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 in 1604. The Gurū Granth Sāhib refers to the final version of the scripture created by Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

There are other sources of scriptures such as the Dasam Granth
Dasam Granth
Dasven Patshah Da Granth or Dasam Granth , often called Sri Dasam Granth Sahib with respect, is a scripture of Sikhism, containing some of the texts attributed to 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Although the Dasam Granth is commonly confused with the Guru Granth Sahib, there is no overlap in...

 and so called Janamsakhis
Janamsakhis
The Janamsakhis , literally birth stories, are writings which profess to be biographies of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak. These compositions have been written at various stages after the death of the first guru.-Overview:...

. These however, have been the subject of controversial debate amongst the Sikh community.

Adi Granth



The Ādi Granth was compiled primarily by Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas was a Punjabi Sikh writer, historian, preacher and religious figure. He was the original scribe of the Guru Granth Sahib and a companion of four of the Sikh Gurus.-Early life:...

 under the supervision of Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 between the years 1603 and 1604. It is written in the Gurmukhī script, which is a descendant of the script used in the Punjab at that time. The Gurmukhī script was standardised by Angad Dev, the second guru of the Sikhs, for use in the Sikh scriptures and is thought to have been influenced by the Śāradā
Sarada script
The Śāradā, or Sharada, script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts, developed around the 8th century. It was used for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā...

 and Devanāgarī
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 scripts. An authoritative scripture was created to protect the integrity of hymns and teachings of the Sikh gurus and selected bhagats. At the time, Arjan Sahib tried to prevent undue influence from the followers of Prithi Chand, the guru's older brother and rival.

The original version of the Ādi Granth is known as the and is claimed to be held by the Sodhi family of Kartarpur. (In fact the original volume was burned by Ahmad Shah Durrani's army in 1757 when they burned the whole town of Kartarpur.)

Guru Granth Sahib




The final version of the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 was compiled by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 in 1678. It consists of the original Ādi Granth with the addition of Guru Tegh Bahadur's hymns. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Eleventh and final spiritual authority of the Sikhs.
Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

:
Transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

:
All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru.


It contains compositions by the first five Gurus, Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur became the 9th Guru of Sikhi on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi....

 and just one (couplet) from Guru Gobind Singh. It also contains the traditions and teachings of sants (saints) such as Kabir
Kabir
Kabīr was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement...

, Namdev
Namdev
Sant Namdeo or Bhagat Namdeo was born on October 29, 1270 in the state of Maharashtra village of Narasi-Bamani, in Hingoli district . His father, a calico printer/tailor, was named Damshet and his mother's name was Gonabai...

, Ravidas, and Sheikh Farid along with several others.

The bulk of the scripture is classified into rāgs
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

, with each rāg subdivided according to length and author. There are 31 main rāgs within the Gurū Granth Sāhib. In addition to the rāgs, there are clear references to the folk music of Punjab. The main language used in the scripture is known as , a language related to both Punjabi and Hindi and used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion. As per the name "Gurmukhi", it is not merely a script but it is the language which came out of Guru's mouth - by using this definition, all words in Guru Granth Sahib constitute "Gurbani" words, thus making Gurmukhi language which then constitute two components - spoken Gurmukhi words (in form of Gurbani which originated from different languages (like world's different languages have similar roots) and Gurmukhi script.The text further comprises over 5000 śabads, or hymns, which are poetically constructed and set to classical form of music rendition, can be set to predetermined musical tāl
Tala (music)
Tāla, Taal or Tal is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition and for the entire subject of rhythm, roughly corresponding to metre in Western music, though closer conceptual equivalents are to be found in other Asian classical systems such as the notion...

, or rhythmic beats.
The Granth begins with the Mūl Mantra
Mul Mantra
The Mul Mantar is the first composition in the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth. It is a series of affirmations and is the basis of Sikh theology. The Mul Mantar is the first composition of Guru Nanak and the origin of the Adi Granth. The Adi Granth begins with the Mul Mantar and it occurs more than...

, an iconic verse created by Nanak:
ISO 15919
ISO 15919
ISO 15919 Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters is an international standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts to the Latin alphabet formed in 2001...

 transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

:
Simplified transliteration:
The One of which everything is and continous, the ever existing, creator being personified, without fear, without hatred, image Of the timeless being, beyond birth, self existent, by Guru's Grace.


All text within the Granth is known as gurbānī. And Gurbani is the Guru "Baani Guru Guru hai Baani" (The word is the Guru and Guru is the word) and "Shabd Guru Surat Dhun Chaylaa" (The Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I lovingly focus my consciousness; I am the disciple.). Therefore, as evident from the message of the Guru Nanak (first Guru) Shabad (or word) was always the Guru (the enlightener); however, as Sikhism stand on the dual strands of Miri-Piri, the Guru in Sikhism is a combination of teacher-leader. Therefore, the lineage from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh was of the teacher-leaders eventually wherein the temporal authority was passed on to the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and spiritual authority, which always was with, passed to Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

(thence the Guru Granth Sahib).

Therefore, Guru Granth Sahib and its 11th body -the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 is the Guru, teacher-leader, of the Sikhs till eternity.

Dasam Granth




The Dasam Granth is a scripture of Sikhs which contains texts attributed to the Tenth Guru
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

. The Dasam Granth holds a significance of great amount for Sikhs, however it doesn't have the same authority as Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

. Some compositions of the Dasam Granth like Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The Prayer or Bani was composed by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. This Bani is one of 5 Banis that a Sikh must recite everyday and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar , a ceremony held to admit...

, (Amrit Savaiye
Amrit Savaiye
Sudha Swayas was composed by Guru Gobind Singh to give an opinion on how to worship God. This Bani appears in the Dasam Granth on pages 13 to 15.-Translation:Below is the English transliteration and translation:*Ik Oangkar waheguru ji ki fateh....

), and Benti Chaupai are part of the daily prayers/lessons (Nitnem
Nitnem
Nit Nem is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by sikhs every day.The Nit Nem bani's usually include the Panj bania which are read in the morning 1am and Rehras Sahib in the evening 6pm and Kirtan Sohila at night 9pm*Japji Sahib *Jaap Sahib *Tav-Prasad Savaiye*Benti...

) of/for Sikhs.

Janamsakhis


The Janamsākhīs (literally birth stories), are writings which profess to be biographies of Nanak. Although not scripture in the strictest sense, they provide an interesting look at Nanak's life and the early start of Sikhi. There are several—often contradictory and sometimes unreliable—Janamsākhīs and they are not held in the same regard as other sources of scriptural knowledge.

Observances


Observant Sikhs adhere to long-standing practices and traditions to strengthen and express their faith. The daily recitation from memory of specific passages from the Gurū Granth Sāhib, especially the Japu (or Japjī, literally chant) hymns is recommended immediately after rising and bathing. Family customs include both reading passages from the scripture and attending the gurdwara (also gurduārā, meaning the doorway to God; sometimes transliterated as gurudwara). There are many gurdwaras prominently constructed and maintained across India, as well as in almost every nation where Sikhs reside. Gurdwaras are open to all, regardless of religion, background, caste, or race.

Worship in a gurdwara consists chiefly of singing of passages from the scripture. Sikhs will commonly enter the temple, touch the ground before the holy scripture with their foreheads.. The recitation of the eighteenth century ardās
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

is also customary for attending Sikhs. The ardās recalls past sufferings and glories of the community, invoking divine grace for all humanity.

The most sacred shrine is the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, famously known as the Golden Temple. Groups of Sikhs regularly visit and congregate at the Harimandir Sahib. On specific occasions, groups of Sikhs are permitted to undertake a pilgrimage to Sikh shrines in the province of Punjab in Pakistan, especially at Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 and other Gurdwaras. Other places of interest to Sikhi in Pakistan includes the samādhī
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

(place of cremation) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

The Sikh faith also participates in the custom of "Langar" or the community meal. All temples are open to anyone of any faith for a free meal. People can enter and eat together and are served by faithful members of the community. This is the main cost associated with gurdwaras and where monetary donations are primarily spent.

Sikh festivals/events


Technically, there are no festivals in Sikhism. However, the events mostly centred around the lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs are commemorated. The SGPC, the Sikh organisation in charge of upkeep of the historical gurdwaras of Punjab, organises celebrations based on the new Nanakshahi calendar. This calendar is highly controversial among Sikhs and is not universally accepted. Several events(Hola Mohalla, Bandi Chhor divas, and Guru Nanak's birthday) continue to be celebrated using the Hindu calendar
Hindu calendar
The hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization, and today there are several regional Indian calendars, as well as an Indian national calendar. Nepali calendar, Bengali calendar, Malayalam calendar, Tamil calendar, Telugu calendar, Kannada...

. Sikh festivals include the following:
  • Gurpurabs are celebrations or commemorations based on the lives of the Sikh gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom. All ten Gurus have Gurpurabs on the Nanakshahi calendar, but it is Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh who have a gurpurab that is widely celebrated in Gurdwaras and Sikh homes. The martyrdoms are also known as a shaheedi Gurpurabs, which mark the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

     and Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  • Baisakhi occurs on 13 April. Sikhs celebrate it because on this day which fell on March30, 1699, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, inaugurated the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

    , the 11th body of Guru Granth Sahib and leader of Sikhs till eternity.
  • Bandi Chhor celebrates Guru Hargobind's release from the Gwalior Fort
    Gwalior Fort
    ċċċċċt̪--122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 Gwalior Fort in Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, stands on an isolated rock, overlooking the Gwalior town, and contains a number of historic...

    , with several innocent Hindu kings who were also imprisoned by Jahangir
    Jahangir
    Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

    , on 26 October 1619. This day usually commemorated on the same day of Hindu festival of Diwali
    Diwali
    Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

    .
  • Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mahalla is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The event lasts for a week, and consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting...

     occurs the day after Holi
    Holi
    Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

     and is when the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

     gather at Anandpur and display their individual and team warrior skills, including fighting and riding. Cannabis or Bhang is also pounded by the Sikhs on this day.

Ceremonies and customs


Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught that rituals, religious ceremonies, or idol worship is of little use and Sikhs are discouraged from fasting or going on pilgrimages. Sikhs do not believe in converting people but converts to Sikhi by choice are welcomed. The morning and evening prayers take about two hours a day, starting in the very early morning hours. The first morning prayer is Guru Nanak's Jap Ji. Jap, meaning "recitation", refers to the use of sound, as the best way of approaching the divine. Like combing hair, hearing and reciting the sacred word is used as a way to comb all negative thoughts out of the mind. The second morning prayer is Guru Gobind Singh's universal Jaap Sahib. The Guru addresses God as having no form, no country, and no religion but as the seed of seeds, sun of suns, and the song of songs. The Jaap Sahib asserts that God is the cause of conflict as well as peace, and of destruction as well as creation. Devotees learn that there is nothing outside of God's presence, nothing outside of God's control. Devout Sikhs are encouraged to begin the day with private meditations on the name of God.

Upon a child's birth, the Guru Granth Sahib is opened at a random point and the child is named using the first letter on the top left hand corner of the left page. All boys are given the middle name Singh
Singh
Also see SinhaSingh is a common title, middle name, or surname in Northern India and South India used by sikhs warriors and kings. eg. Man Singh I, Maharana Pratap Singh. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Siṃha meaning "lion and used by Ahir kings of Nepal". It is also used in Sri Lanka by...

, and all girls are given the middle name Kaur
Kaur
Kaur in Sikhism is a mandatory middle name for female Sikhs.-History:Kaur is a name used by Sikh women either as the middle name, or as a last name. It cannot be regarded as a true surname or family name...

 (this was a once a title which was conferred on an indivdual at joining the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

). Sikhs are joined in wedlock through the anand kāraj
Anand Karaj
Anand Karaj is the Sikh marriage ceremony, meaning "Blissful Union" or "Joyful Union", that was introduced by Guru Amar Das. The four Lavan were composed by his successor, Guru Ram Das...

ceremony. Sikhs are required to marry when they are of a sufficient age (child marriage is taboo), and without regard for the future spouse's caste or descent. The marriage ceremony is performed in the company of the Guru Granth Sahib; around which the couple circles four times. After the ceremony is complete, the husband and wife are considered "a single soul in two bodies."

According to Sikh religious rites, neither husband nor wife is permitted to divorce. A Sikh couple that wishes to divorce may be able to do so in a civil court but this is not condoned. Upon death, the body of a Sikh is usually cremated. If this is not possible, any means of disposing the body may be employed. The kīrtan sōhilā and ardās prayers are performed during the funeral ceremony (known as antim sanskār
Antam Sanskar
"Antam" or "Antim" mean Final or Last. "Sanskar" means ritual, rite, ceremony, service.In Sikhism death is considered a natural process and God's will or Hukam...

).

Baptism and the Khalsa



Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 (meaning "Sovereign") is the collective name given by Gobind Singh to all Sikhs who have been baptised or initiated by taking ammrit
Amrita
Amrit is a Sanskrit word that literally means "immortality", and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word's earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. It is related etymologically to the Greek...

in a ceremony called ammrit sañcār. The first time that this ceremony took place was on Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is an ancient harvest festival celebrated across North Indian states, especially Punjab by all Punjabis regardless of religion. In Sikhism the Khalsa was founded on same day as the Vaisakhi festival, so Sikhs celebrate twice as much....

, which fell on 30 March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a city in Rupnagar district in the state of Punjab, India. Known as "the holy City of Bliss," it is a holy city of the Sikhs and is one of their most important sacred places, closely linked with their religious traditions and history...

 in Punjab. It was on that occasion that Gobind Singh baptised the Pañj Piārē
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

 who in turn baptised Gobind Singh himself.

Baptised Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār), or articles of faith, at all times. The 5 items are: kēs
Kesh (Sikhism)
In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

(uncut hair),
{{pp-move-indef}}
{{Sikhi}}
Sikhism{{#tag:ref|Sikh originated from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the
Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 root {{IAST|śiṣya}} meaning "disciple", or {{IAST|śikṣa}} meaning "instruction".|group=note}} (icon or ˈ; {{lang-pa|ਸਿੱਖੀ}}, {{IAST|sikkhī}}, ˈsɪkːʰiː) is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

, by Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

  and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

 (the last teaching being the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

). It is the fifth-largest
Major religious groups
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice...

 organized religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in the world and one of the fastest-growing. This system of religious philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat
Gurmat
Gurmat is a term which may in its essential sense be taken to be synonymous with Sikhism itself. It literally means to "have your face towards the guru". It covers doctrinal, prescriptive and directional aspects of Sikh faith and praxis...

 (literally 'of the gurus'). Punjab of India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.

Sikhs embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipahie"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh must also have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of religion, colour, caste or creed. Baptized Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s are initiated into the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

, the Khalsa is "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh (10th guru of Sikhism) clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The principal beliefs of Sikhi are faith and justice, in Waheguru
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—represented by the phrase {{unicode|ik ōaṅkār}}, meaning one God. Sikhi advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. The followers of Sikhi are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

, or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

, which, along with the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, includes selected works of many devotees from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. The text was decreed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, the tenth guru, as the final guru of the Sikh religion. Sikhi's traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture of Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. Adherents of Sikhi are known as Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s (students or disciples) and number over 26 million across the world. Most Sikhs live in Punjab, India, although there is a significant Sikh diaspora
Sikh diaspora
The Sikh diaspora is a relatively recent term used to describe the phenomenon of Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the Punjab region. Sikhism is an ethnic religion but welcomes converts, the Punjab region being the historic homeland of Sikhism...

. Until the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

, millions of Sikhs lived in what is now Pakistani Punjab.

Philosophy and teachings


{{Main|Sikh religious philosophy|Sikhism primary beliefs and principles}}

The origins of Sikhi lie in the teachings of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 and his successors. The essence of Sikh teaching is summed up by Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 in these words: "Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living". Sikh teaching emphasizes the principle of equality of all humans and rejects discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and gender. Sikh principles encourage living life as a householder.

Sikhi is a monotheistic and a revealed religion. In Sikhi, God—termed Vāhigurū
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—is shapeless
Nirankar
Nirankar means without form or formless and is used in the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, to refer to God....

, timeless
Akal
Akal literally timeless, immortal, non-temporal, is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustat; i.e., In Praise of the Timeless One . However, the concept of Akal...

, and sightless
Alakh Niranjan
Alakh Niranjan is a term in Hinduism and Sikhism where it is used a synonym for Creator, and to describe the characteristics of God and the Self, known as the Atman. Alakh means "sightless" and niranjan means "spotfree"...

: {{unicode|niraṅkār}}, akāl, and alakh. The beginning of the first composition of Sikh scripture is the figure "1"—signifying the universality of God. It states that God is omnipresent and infinite, and is signified by the term ēk ōaṅkār
Ek Onkar
Ik Onkar is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. It is a symbol of the unity of God in Sikhism, and is found on all religious scriptures and places such as Gurdwaras. Derived from Punjabi, Ik Onkār is the first phrase in the Mul Mantar referring to the existence of "one constant" taken to...

. Sikhs believe that before creation, all that existed was God and God's hukam
Hukam
Hukam is a Punjabi word derived from the Arabic hukm, meaning "command" or "order." In God whose is referred to as Waheguru. It is by the command of Him that we are born and we die. In the Sikh Scripture, the founder of the religion, Guru Nanak says:...

(will or order). When God willed, the entire cosmos was created. From these beginnings, God nurtured "enticement and attachment" to māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

, or the human perception of reality.

While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings, Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 described God as not wholly unknowable. God is omnipresent (sarav viāpak
Sarav viapak
Sarav Viapak is a term used to describe omnipresence of God in Sikhism. It translates as an "all prevading god". In Sikhism, God is held to be without form, shape colour etc. It is present in every living being in Universe....

) in all creation and visible everywhere to the spiritually awakened. Nanak stressed that God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart", of a human being: devotees must meditate to progress towards enlightenment. Guru Nanak Dev emphasized the revelation through meditation, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings. God has no gender in Sikhi, (though translations may incorrectly present a male God); indeed Sikhi teaches that God is "Akal Purkh" with characteristic of "Nirankar" [Niran meaning "without" and kar meaning "form", hence "without form"]. In addition, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which God has created life.

Pursuing salvation and khalsa



Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

's teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 or hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, but on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

. The official Khalsa Code of Conduct laid out by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, makes it clear that human birth is only obtained once, so you get this one chance to live, therefore one needs to be able to handle this chance. The Sikhs believe in living 'Chakar Vati'-roaming free as freedom, not as slaves or be oppressed.

Māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

—defined as illusion or "unreality"—is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: people are distracted from devotion by worldly attractions which give only illusive satisfaction. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhi, the influences of ego
Ahankar
Hankār is the Gurmukhi word originated from a Sanskrit word Ahankāra which translates to mean ego or excessive pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual the feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than he is...

, anger
Krodh
Krodh is derived from the Sanskrit word krodha, which means wrath or Rage. This is an emotion recognized in the Sikh system as a spring of desire and is as such counted as one of the Five Evils....

, greed
Lobh
Lobh is a Gurmukhi word which translates in English to greed; it is a strong desire for worldly possessions and a constant focus on possessing material items, especially the urge to possess what rightfully belongs to others. According to Sikhism, it makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It...

, attachment
Moh
Moh stands in ancient texts for perplexity or confusion as also for the cause of confusion, that is, avidya or ajnana ....

, and lust
Kam
Kam meaning deep desire, uncontrolled longing, concupiscence, sensuality or lasciviousness is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities in Sikhism. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil...

—known as the Five Evils—are believed to be particularly pernicious. The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.

Nśabad (the divine Word) to emphasise the totality of the revelation. Nanak designated the word guru (meaning teacher) as the voice of God and the source and guide for knowledge and salvation. Salvation can be reached only through rigorous and disciplined devotion to God. Nanak distinctly emphasised the irrelevance of outward observations such as rites, pilgrimages, or asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

. He stressed that devotion must take place through the heart, with the spirit and the soul. According to Gurbani the supreme purpose of human life is to reconnect with Truth. However, our Ego is the biggest disease in the reunion with Truth / God and the solution to this disease also lies within human ego (mind and body). With Guru's grace the seeker meditates honestly on "Word" which leads to the end of ego. Guru is indistinguishable from God and are one and same thing as God which cannot be found with thousands of wisdoms. One gets connected with Guru only with accumulation of selfless search of truth. Ultimately the seeker realizes that it is the consciousness within the body which is seeker / follower and Word is true Guru. Human body is just a means to achieve the reunion with Truth. Truth is a form of matter which lies within human body but is beyond the realm of time / death. Once truth starts to shine in a person’s heart, the essence of current and past holy books of all religions is understood by the person.

A key practice to be pursued is {{unicode|nām
Nam Japo
Nām Japō , or Naam Japna, refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or of the various Names of God, especially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means "Wonderful Lord". Singing of hymns generally is also referred to as Nām Jap, sometimes also called Nām...

}}
: remembrance of the divine Name. The verbal repetition of the name of God or a sacred syllable is an established practice in religious traditions in India, but Nanak's interpretation emphasized inward, personal observance. Nanak's ideal is the total exposure of one's being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 or the "Divine Order". Nanak described the result of the disciplined application of {{unicode|nām simraṇ}} as a "growing towards and into God" through a gradual process of five stages. The last of these is {{unicode|sach khaṇḍ
Sach Khand
Sach Khand, or Sac Khand, is the Sikh concept of joining with God. It is achieved by the Guru's Grace and through Simran....

}}
(The Realm of Truth)—the final union of the spirit with God.

Guru Nanak stressed now kirat karō
Kirat karo
Kirat Karō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, the others being Naam Japo and Vaṇḍ chakkō. The term means to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising one's God-given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and...

: that a Sikh should balance work, worship, and charity, and should defend the rights of all creatures, and in particular, fellow human beings. They are encouraged to have a {{unicode|chaṛdī kalā}}, or optimistic, view of life. Sikh teachings also stress the concept of sharing—{{unicode|vaṇḍ chakkō}}—through the distribution of free food at Sikh gurdwara
Gurdwara
A Gurdwara , meaning the Gateway to the Guru, is the place of worship for Sikhs, the followers of Sikhism. A Gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib ....

s ({{unicode|laṅgar}}), giving charitable donations, and working for the good of the community and others (sēvā).

Ten gurus and religious authority


{{Main|Sikh gurus}}

The term guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

 comes from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 gurū, meaning teacher, guide, or mentor. The traditions and philosophy of Sikhi were established by ten specific gurus from 1469 to 1708. Each guru added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous, resulting in the creation of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 was the first guru and appointed a disciple as successor. Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 was the final guru in human form. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh decreed that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 would be the final and perpetual guru of the Sikhs.

Guru Angad Dev succeeded Guru Nanak. Later, an important phase in the development of Sikhi came with the third successor, Guru Amar Das. Guru Nanak's teachings emphasised the pursuit of salvation; Guru Amar Das began building a cohesive community of followers with initiatives such as sanctioning distinctive ceremonies for birth, marriage, and death. Amar Das also established the manji (comparable to a diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

) system of clerical supervision.

Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552.-His life:...

's successor and son-in-law Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das was the fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 30 August 1574.-Early life:Ram Das was born in Lahore, Punjab on 24 September 1534[1] to a Sodhi family of the Khatri clan. His father was Hari Das and his mother Anup Devi. His wife was Bibi Bhani,...

 founded the city of Amritsar
Amritsar
Amritsar is a city in the northern part of India and is the administrative headquarters of Amritsar district in the state of Punjab, India. The 2001 Indian census reported the population of the city to be over 1,500,000, with that of the entire district numbering 3,695,077...

, which is home of the Harimandir Sahib and regarded widely as the holiest city for all Sikhs. When Guru Ram Das's youngest son Arjan succeeded him, the line of male gurus from the Sodhi Khatri family was established: all succeeding gurus were direct descendants of this line. Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 was captured by Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 authorities who were suspicious and hostile to the religious order he was developing. His persecution and death inspired his successors to promote a military and political organization of Sikh communities to defend themselves against the attacks of Mughal forces.

The Sikh gurus established a mechanism which allowed the Sikh religion to react as a community to changing circumstances. The sixth guru, Guru Hargobind
Guru Har Gobind
Guru Hargobind Sahib, also Saccha Badshah was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution...

, was responsible for the creation of the concept of Akal Takht
Akal Takht
The Akal Takht of the Timeless One or Seat of God. It is one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs equivalent to any parliament of world sovereign country. Akal means The Timeless One - another term for God. Takht means 'seat' or 'throne' in Persian...

 (throne of the timeless one), which serves as the supreme decision-making centre of Sikhi and sits opposite the Darbar Sahib. The {{unicode|Sarbat Ḵẖālsā
Sarbat Khalsa
Sarbat Khalsa from sarva, a Sanskrit word meaning all or everything, was a biannual deliberative assembly of the entire Khalsa held at Amritsar in Panjab during the 18th century...

}}
(a representative portion of the Khalsa Panth) historically gathers at the Akal Takht on special festivals such as Vaisakhi or Hola Mohalla and when there is a need to discuss matters that affect the entire Sikh nation. A gurmatā
Gurmata
A Gurmata is an order passed by the Sarbat Khalsa in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. A gurmata may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion and is binding upon all Sikhs....

(literally, guru's intention) is an order passed by the {{unicode|Sarbat Ḵẖālsā}} in the presence of the Gurū Granth Sāhib. A gurmatā may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion; it is binding upon all Sikhs. The term hukamnāmā
Hukamnama
A Hukamnama refers to a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib which is given as an order to Sikhs or a historical order given by one of the Guru's of Sikhism....

(literally, edict or royal order) is often used interchangeably with the term gurmatā. However, a hukamnāmā formally refers to a hymn from the Gurū Granth Sāhib which is a given order to Sikhs.

History


{{Main|History of Sikhism}}
Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhi, was born in the village of Rāi Bhōi dī Talwandī, now called Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 (in present-day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

). His parents were Khatri
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

 Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s of the Bedi clan. As a boy, Nanak was fascinated by God and religion. He would not partake in religious rituals or customs and oddly meditated alone. His desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home and take missionary journeys.

In his early teens, Nanak caught the attention of the local landlord Rai Bular Bhatti, who was moved by his amazing intellect and divine qualities. Rai Bular was witness to many incidents in which Nanak enchanted him and as a result Rai Bular and Nanak's sister Bibi Nanki, became the first persons to recognise the divine qualities in Nanak. Both of them then encouraged and supported Nanak to study and travel. At the age of thirty, Nanak went missing and was presumed to have drowned after going for one of his morning baths to a local stream called the Kali Bein. On the day he arrived, he declared: "There is no Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, there is no Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

" (in Punjabi, "nā kōi hindū nā kōi musalmān"). It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhi. Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, he is widely acknowledged to have made five major journeys, spanning thousands of miles, the first tour being east towards Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

, the second south towards Andhra and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, the third north towards Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, and Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, and the fourth tour west towards Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. In his last and final tour, he returned to the banks of the Ravi River to end his days.

Growth of Sikhi and Rise of Khalsa



The tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, created the Khalsa. Which means "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The Sikh Khalsa rise to power began during the 17th century. During a time of of growing militancy against the Muslim rule. The creation of a Sikh Empire began when Guru Gobind Singh sent his brave Sikh general, Banda Singh Bahadur along with some hundred Singhs to punish those who had committed atrocities against Pir Buddhu Shah and avenge the murder of his youngest sons. Banda Singh with a large group of Sikhs advanced towards the main Muslim Mughal city of Sirhind and followed the instructions of the guru he punished all the culprits. Soon after the invasion of Sirhind, Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed by a Pathan assassin hired by Mughals, Jamshed Khan stabbed the Guru in the left side below the heart while he was resting in his chamber after the Rehras prayer. Guru Gobind Singh killed the attacker with his sword, while the assassins companion tried to flee but was killed by some Sikhs who had rushed in on hearing the noise. A European surgeon stitched the Guru's wound. However, the wound re-opened as the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow after a few days, and caused profuse bleeding. Seeing his end was near, the Guru declared the Granth Sahib as the next Guru of the Sikhs.[29]

He then sang his self-composed hymn:
"Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru Maneyo Granth, Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."

Translation of the above:
"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The Khalsa shall rule, and impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved."

The death of the Guru reached Banda Singh and Sikhs all over Punjab. After this the Sikhs took over many Muslim and Mughal lands, establishing a Sikh Empire.
Other existing Muslim Emperors proclaimed a jihad or a holy war against Banda Singh and the Khalsa. However many Muslim army’s and their Generals fled in dismay and despair after Wazir Khan's head was stuck up on a spear and lifted high up by a Sikh who took his seat at Sirhind, Muslim troops on beholding the head took alarm. Many Muslims embraced Sikhism and joined the Khalsa. Banda Singh at this time also married the daughter of a Muslim General, . However the concept of jihad was re-proclaimed, it took over 60,000 Muslim troops to capture 400 Sikh's and Banda Singh, where Banda Singh was captured and tortured. Banda Singh's mission played an important development of the Dal Khalsa and the Sikh Misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

s, which eventually led to a new king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh may refer to:*Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire*Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur, the Jat ruler of the Bharatpur princely state in Rajasthan, India...

 capturing Lahore in 1799 and establishing the Sikh Kingdom of Punjab. The new king and the Sikh Misls rose to power in a series of sweeping military and diplomatic victories. Increasing the number of Sikhs and spreading the Empire further. His vast empire comprised almost 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) of what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India.
The Empire of the Sikhs was widely feared by many natives including Muslims, Hindus, Persians and many Asian countries. Even many Pathans who had previously lived their during the Islamic rule, attempted many times to attack the Empire with over 20,000 troops, in which case Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his most bravest Sikh warrior, named Akali Phula Singh Nihang (at the age of 65) and a few hundred Singhs to deal with the Invading Pathans and bring them under control. Soon during a battle, a Pathan hiding behind a boulder shot Akali Phula Singh from close range during a battle with a number of Pathan soldiers began shooting him. Akali Phula Singh was found bullet ridden.

British recruit of Sikhs


The Sikhs remained control of the Empire, faced many odds and overcame them all, however another challenge was yet to come. In the East, the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 took over thousands of square miles of land, including eastern parts of India and many Asian countries, soon reaching the Sikh Empire where the British would also meet their biggest challenge during their Conquest.

Both British and Sikh sides lost many troops and heavy number of materials in various battles, such as the Anglo-Sikh wars
Anglo-Sikh wars
There have been two Anglo-Sikh wars:*The First Anglo-Sikh War *The Second Anglo-Sikh War...

. The British was claimed to be unbeatable, but Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikhs were the only people who could stand toe to toe with the British forces. For the first time during the British Conquest the British were unable to invade and resulted in both sides having to stop and come to terms. Narrated by Mohanlal Kashmiri, Secretary to Sir Alexander Burnes, Maharaja Ranjit Singh replied to the British, "As long as I'm alive, the British will never conquest here."
This led to further Anglo-Sikh wars and further loss on both sides. In 1839, the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Empire fell on the shoulders of his son, Maharaja Duleep Singh (at the age of 11). The Empire had fallen. The British Commission General describes Maharaja Ranjit Singh, "was by all accounts a fierce and revered conquerer."


After seeing the strength of the Sikhs in Punjab, the British then decided to recruit as many Sikhs as possible into the British Army. Sikhs accounted for over 25% of the British soldiers who fought in WW1 and WW2 (that is more then the Irish, Scottish and Welsh combined). The Sikhs won over 24 battle honours, including one very long task which took almost a week for the British Army to push back the German Army, however on Friday 1916, the Sikh Regiment was sent in and the Sikhs pushed back the German Invaders in a night.
It was because of the Sikhs that Hitler was unable to cross the borders of France (an easy gateway into invading Britain). Hitler after seeing the strength of the Sikhs even announced "If I had just a small battalion of Sikhs I shall conquer the world". Sikhs believe dying on the battle field is the greatest death a Sikh can have, during the World Wars when the British soldiers ran out of ammunition Sikhs would take out their swords and march towards the enemy, fighting to their last breaths, literally taking the words of their tenth guru to heart "When all means fail it is righteous to raise sword".
Even today the British Army are so keen to recruit as many Sikhs as possible.

Political advancement


Hargobind, became the sixth guru of the Sikhs. He carried two swords—one for spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 and the other for temporal
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 reasons (known as mīrī and pīrī in Sikhi). Sikhs grew as an organized community and under the 10th Guru the Sikhs developed a trained fighting force to defend their independence. In 1644, Har Rai
Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai was the seventh of ten living Gurus of the Sikhs who became Guru on 8 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind, who was the sixth guru. Before he died, he nominated five year old Har Krishan, his youngest son as the next Guru of the Sikhs...

 became guru followed by Harkrishan, the boy guru, in 1661. No hymns composed by these three gurus are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Tegh Bahadur became guru in 1665 and led the Sikhs until 1675. Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 for helping to protect the faith of Hindus, after a delegation of Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

s came to him for help when the Emperor was killing those who refused to convert to Islam. He was succeeded by his son, Gobind Rai who was just nine years old at the time of his father's death. Gobind Rai further militarised his followers, and was baptised by the {{unicode|Pañj Piārē
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

}}
when he formed the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 on March 30, 1699. From here on in he was known as Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

From the time of Nanak the Sikhs had significantly transformed. Even though the core Sikh spiritual philosophy was never affected, the followers now began to develop a political identity. Conflict with Mughal authorities escalated during the lifetime of Teg Bahadur and Gobind Singh. The latter founded the Khalsa in 1699. The Khalsa is a disciplined community that combines its spiritual purpose and goals with political and military duties. After Aurangzeb killed four of his sons, Gobind Singh sent Aurangzeb the Zafarnamah
Zafarnamah
Zafarnāmah means the Epistle of Victory and is the name given to the letter sent by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 1705 to the Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb. The letter is written in Persian verse....

 (Notification/Epistle of Victory).

Shortly before his death, Gobind Singh ordered that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 (the Sikh Holy Scripture), would be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs and temporal authority would be vested in the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

—the Sikh Nation.

A former ascetic was charged by Gobind Singh with the duty of punishing those who had persecuted the innocents in Punjab. After the Guru's death, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur became the commander-in-chief of the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and was responsible for several attacks on the Mughal empire. He was executed by the emperor Farukh Siyar after refusing the offer of a pardon if he converted to Islam.

The Sikh nation's embrace of military and political organisation made it a considerable regional force in medieval India and it continued to evolve after the demise of the gurus. After the death of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Sikh Confederacy
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 of Sikh warrior bands known as misls were formed. With the decline of the Mughal empire, a Sikh Empire arose in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

, with its capital in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and limits reaching the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

 and the borders of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The order, traditions and discipline developed over centuries culminated at the time of Ranjit Singh to give rise to the common religious and social identity that the term "Sikhi" describes.

After the death of Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Empire fell into disorder and was eventually annexed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 after the hard-fought First
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

 and Second
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

 Anglo-Sikh Wars. This brought the Punjab under the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. Sikhs formed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is an organization in India responsible for the upkeep of gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship in three states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. SGPC also administers Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Gurdwaras in Delhi are the administered by Delhi Sikh...

 and the Shiromani Akali Dal
Shiromani Akali Dal
The Shiromani Akali Dal , translation: Supreme Akali Party) is a Sikh nationalist political parties based in Punjab. The current party to be recognized by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Parkash Singh Badal...

 to preserve Sikhs' religious and political organization a quarter of a century later. With the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947, thousands of Sikhs were killed in violence and millions were forced to leave their ancestral homes in West Punjab
West Punjab
West Punjab was a province of Pakistan from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 160,622 km², including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely state of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province...

. Sikhs faced initial opposition from the Government in forming a linguistic state that other states in India were afforded. The Akali Dal started a non-violence movement for Sikh and Punjabi rights. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in India, who supported implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In 1981, Bhindranwale was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder of Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind...

 emerged as a leader of the Damdami Taksal
Damdami Taksal
The Damdami Taksal is a 300 years old educational organization said to have been founded by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. According to the Damdami Taksal, it was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the reading , analysis and recitation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind...

 in 1977 and promoted a more militant solution to the problem. In June 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 ordered the Indian army to launch Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star ) 3– 6 June 1984 was an Indian military operation, ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, to remove Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar...

 to remove Bhindranwale and his followers from the Darbar Sahib. Bhindranwale and his accompanying followers were killed during the army's operations. In October, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards. The assassination was followed by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
1984 anti-Sikh riots
The 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms / riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre was a sikh genocide there was four days of violence in northern India, particularly Delhi, during which armed mobs killed Sikhs, looted and set fire to Sikh homes, businesses and schools, and attacked gurdwaras, in response to the...

. and Hindu-Sikh conflicts in Punjab, as a reaction to Operation Blue Star and the assassin.

Scripture


There is one primary source of scripture for the Sikhs: the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The Gurū Granth Sāhib may be referred to as the Ādi Granth—literally, The First Volume—and the two terms are often used synonymously. Here, however, the Ādi Granth refers to the version of the scripture created by Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 in 1604. The Gurū Granth Sāhib refers to the final version of the scripture created by Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

There are other sources of scriptures such as the Dasam Granth
Dasam Granth
Dasven Patshah Da Granth or Dasam Granth , often called Sri Dasam Granth Sahib with respect, is a scripture of Sikhism, containing some of the texts attributed to 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Although the Dasam Granth is commonly confused with the Guru Granth Sahib, there is no overlap in...

 and so called Janamsakhis
Janamsakhis
The Janamsakhis , literally birth stories, are writings which profess to be biographies of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak. These compositions have been written at various stages after the death of the first guru.-Overview:...

. These however, have been the subject of controversial debate amongst the Sikh community.

Adi Granth


{{Main|Ādi Granth}}
The Ādi Granth was compiled primarily by Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas was a Punjabi Sikh writer, historian, preacher and religious figure. He was the original scribe of the Guru Granth Sahib and a companion of four of the Sikh Gurus.-Early life:...

 under the supervision of Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 between the years 1603 and 1604. It is written in the Gurmukhī script, which is a descendant of the {{unicode|Laṇḍā
Landa
Landa is a Basque surname.Landa may refer to:Places* Landa, North Dakota* Landa de MatamorosPeople* Alfredo Landa* Diego de Landa, fourth bishop of Yucatan* Daniel Landa, Czech musician* Eli Landa* Honorino Landa* Konstantin Landa...

}} script used in the Punjab at that time. The Gurmukhī script was standardised by Angad Dev, the second guru of the Sikhs, for use in the Sikh scriptures and is thought to have been influenced by the Śāradā
Sarada script
The Śāradā, or Sharada, script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts, developed around the 8th century. It was used for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā...

 and Devanāgarī
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 scripts. An authoritative scripture was created to protect the integrity of hymns and teachings of the Sikh gurus and selected bhagats. At the time, Arjan Sahib tried to prevent undue influence from the followers of Prithi Chand, the guru's older brother and rival.

The original version of the Ādi Granth is known as the {{unicode|kartārpur bīṛ}} and is claimed to be held by the Sodhi family of Kartarpur.{{Citation needed|date=November 2009}} (In fact the original volume was burned by Ahmad Shah Durrani's army in 1757 when they burned the whole town of Kartarpur.){{Citation needed|date=November 2009}}

Guru Granth Sahib



{{Main|Gurū Granth Sāhib}}
The final version of the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 was compiled by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 in 1678. It consists of the original Ādi Granth with the addition of Guru Tegh Bahadur's hymns. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Eleventh and final spiritual authority of the Sikhs.
Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

: {{lang|pa|ਸੱਬ ਸਿੱਖਣ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ।}}
Transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

: {{unicode|Sabb sikkhaṇ kō hukam hai gurū mānyō granth
Guru Maneyo Granth
Guru Maneyo Granth , refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh , shortly before his death affirming the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. Installed as the Guru Granth Sahib, it is now the central text of Sikhism, and...

.}}
All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru.


It contains compositions by the first five Gurus, Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur became the 9th Guru of Sikhi on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi....

 and just one {{unicode|śalōk
Shloka
A ' is a category of verse line developed from the Vedic Anuṣṭubh. It is the basis for Indian Epic verse, and may be considered the Indian verse form par excellence, occurring, as it does, far more frequently than any other meter in classical Sanskrit poetry. The Mahabharata and Ramayana, for...

}}
(couplet) from Guru Gobind Singh. It also contains the traditions and teachings of sants (saints) such as Kabir
Kabir
Kabīr was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement...

, Namdev
Namdev
Sant Namdeo or Bhagat Namdeo was born on October 29, 1270 in the state of Maharashtra village of Narasi-Bamani, in Hingoli district . His father, a calico printer/tailor, was named Damshet and his mother's name was Gonabai...

, Ravidas, and Sheikh Farid along with several others.

The bulk of the scripture is classified into rāgs
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

, with each rāg subdivided according to length and author. There are 31 main rāgs within the Gurū Granth Sāhib. In addition to the rāgs, there are clear references to the folk music of Punjab. The main language used in the scripture is known as {{unicode|Sant Bhāṣā
Sant Bhasha
Sant Bhasha is a scriptural language related to both Punjabi and Hindi. It was used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion, esp. Sikhism....

}}
, a language related to both Punjabi and Hindi and used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion. As per the name "Gurmukhi", it is not merely a script but it is the language which came out of Guru's mouth - by using this definition, all words in Guru Granth Sahib constitute "Gurbani" words, thus making Gurmukhi language which then constitute two components - spoken Gurmukhi words (in form of Gurbani which originated from different languages (like world's different languages have similar roots) and Gurmukhi script.The text further comprises over 5000 śabads, or hymns, which are poetically constructed and set to classical form of music rendition, can be set to predetermined musical tāl
Tala (music)
Tāla, Taal or Tal is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition and for the entire subject of rhythm, roughly corresponding to metre in Western music, though closer conceptual equivalents are to be found in other Asian classical systems such as the notion...

, or rhythmic beats.
The Granth begins with the Mūl Mantra
Mul Mantra
The Mul Mantar is the first composition in the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth. It is a series of affirmations and is the basis of Sikh theology. The Mul Mantar is the first composition of Guru Nanak and the origin of the Adi Granth. The Adi Granth begins with the Mul Mantar and it occurs more than...

, an iconic verse created by Nanak:
{{lang-pa|ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥}}
ISO 15919
ISO 15919
ISO 15919 Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters is an international standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts to the Latin alphabet formed in 2001...

 transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

: {{unicode|Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gura prasādi.}}
Simplified transliteration: {{unicode|Ik ōaṅgkār sat nām kartā purkh nirbha'u nirvair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhaṅ gur prasād.}}
The One of which everything is and continous, the ever existing, creator being personified, without fear, without hatred, image Of the timeless being, beyond birth, self existent, by Guru's Grace.


All text within the Granth is known as gurbānī. And Gurbani is the Guru "Baani Guru Guru hai Baani" (The word is the Guru and Guru is the word) and "Shabd Guru Surat Dhun Chaylaa" (The Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I lovingly focus my consciousness; I am the disciple.). Therefore, as evident from the message of the Guru Nanak (first Guru) Shabad (or word) was always the Guru (the enlightener); however, as Sikhism stand on the dual strands of Miri-Piri, the Guru in Sikhism is a combination of teacher-leader. Therefore, the lineage from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh was of the teacher-leaders eventually wherein the temporal authority was passed on to the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and spiritual authority, which always was with, passed to Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

(thence the Guru Granth Sahib).

Therefore, Guru Granth Sahib and its 11th body -the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 is the Guru, teacher-leader, of the Sikhs till eternity.

Dasam Granth


{{Main|Dasam Granth}}

The Dasam Granth is a scripture of Sikhs which contains texts attributed to the Tenth Guru
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

. The Dasam Granth holds a significance of great amount for Sikhs, however it doesn't have the same authority as Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

. Some compositions of the Dasam Granth like Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The Prayer or Bani was composed by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. This Bani is one of 5 Banis that a Sikh must recite everyday and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar , a ceremony held to admit...

, (Amrit Savaiye
Amrit Savaiye
Sudha Swayas was composed by Guru Gobind Singh to give an opinion on how to worship God. This Bani appears in the Dasam Granth on pages 13 to 15.-Translation:Below is the English transliteration and translation:*Ik Oangkar waheguru ji ki fateh....

), and Benti Chaupai are part of the daily prayers/lessons (Nitnem
Nitnem
Nit Nem is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by sikhs every day.The Nit Nem bani's usually include the Panj bania which are read in the morning 1am and Rehras Sahib in the evening 6pm and Kirtan Sohila at night 9pm*Japji Sahib *Jaap Sahib *Tav-Prasad Savaiye*Benti...

) of/for Sikhs.

Janamsakhis


{{Main|Janamsākhīs}}

The Janamsākhīs (literally birth stories), are writings which profess to be biographies of Nanak. Although not scripture in the strictest sense, they provide an interesting look at Nanak's life and the early start of Sikhi. There are several—often contradictory and sometimes unreliable—Janamsākhīs and they are not held in the same regard as other sources of scriptural knowledge.

Observances


Observant Sikhs adhere to long-standing practices and traditions to strengthen and express their faith. The daily recitation from memory of specific passages from the Gurū Granth Sāhib, especially the Japu (or Japjī, literally chant) hymns is recommended immediately after rising and bathing. Family customs include both reading passages from the scripture and attending the gurdwara (also gurduārā, meaning the doorway to God; sometimes transliterated as gurudwara). There are many gurdwaras prominently constructed and maintained across India, as well as in almost every nation where Sikhs reside. Gurdwaras are open to all, regardless of religion, background, caste, or race.

Worship in a gurdwara consists chiefly of singing of passages from the scripture. Sikhs will commonly enter the temple, touch the ground before the holy scripture with their foreheads.. The recitation of the eighteenth century ardās
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

is also customary for attending Sikhs. The ardās recalls past sufferings and glories of the community, invoking divine grace for all humanity.

The most sacred shrine is the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, famously known as the Golden Temple. Groups of Sikhs regularly visit and congregate at the Harimandir Sahib. On specific occasions, groups of Sikhs are permitted to undertake a pilgrimage to Sikh shrines in the province of Punjab in Pakistan, especially at Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 and other Gurdwaras. Other places of interest to Sikhi in Pakistan includes the samādhī
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

(place of cremation) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

The Sikh faith also participates in the custom of "Langar" or the community meal. All temples are open to anyone of any faith for a free meal. People can enter and eat together and are served by faithful members of the community. This is the main cost associated with gurdwaras and where monetary donations are primarily spent.

Sikh festivals/events


Technically, there are no festivals in Sikhism. However, the events mostly centred around the lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs are commemorated. The SGPC, the Sikh organisation in charge of upkeep of the historical gurdwaras of Punjab, organises celebrations based on the new Nanakshahi calendar. This calendar is highly controversial among Sikhs and is not universally accepted. Several events(Hola Mohalla, Bandi Chhor divas, and Guru Nanak's birthday) continue to be celebrated using the Hindu calendar
Hindu calendar
The hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization, and today there are several regional Indian calendars, as well as an Indian national calendar. Nepali calendar, Bengali calendar, Malayalam calendar, Tamil calendar, Telugu calendar, Kannada...

. Sikh festivals include the following:
  • Gurpurabs are celebrations or commemorations based on the lives of the Sikh gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom. All ten Gurus have Gurpurabs on the Nanakshahi calendar, but it is Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh who have a gurpurab that is widely celebrated in Gurdwaras and Sikh homes. The martyrdoms are also known as a shaheedi Gurpurabs, which mark the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

     and Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  • Baisakhi occurs on 13 April. Sikhs celebrate it because on this day which fell on March30, 1699, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, inaugurated the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

    , the 11th body of Guru Granth Sahib and leader of Sikhs till eternity.
  • Bandi Chhor celebrates Guru Hargobind's release from the Gwalior Fort
    Gwalior Fort
    ċċċċċt̪--122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 Gwalior Fort in Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, stands on an isolated rock, overlooking the Gwalior town, and contains a number of historic...

    , with several innocent Hindu kings who were also imprisoned by Jahangir
    Jahangir
    Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

    , on 26 October 1619. This day usually commemorated on the same day of Hindu festival of Diwali
    Diwali
    Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

    .
  • Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mahalla is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The event lasts for a week, and consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting...

     occurs the day after Holi
    Holi
    Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

     and is when the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

     gather at Anandpur and display their individual and team warrior skills, including fighting and riding. Cannabis or Bhang is also pounded by the Sikhs on this day.

Ceremonies and customs


Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught that rituals, religious ceremonies, or idol worship is of little use and Sikhs are discouraged from fasting or going on pilgrimages. Sikhs do not believe in converting people but converts to Sikhi by choice are welcomed. The morning and evening prayers take about two hours a day, starting in the very early morning hours. The first morning prayer is Guru Nanak's Jap Ji. Jap, meaning "recitation", refers to the use of sound, as the best way of approaching the divine. Like combing hair, hearing and reciting the sacred word is used as a way to comb all negative thoughts out of the mind. The second morning prayer is Guru Gobind Singh's universal Jaap Sahib. The Guru addresses God as having no form, no country, and no religion but as the seed of seeds, sun of suns, and the song of songs. The Jaap Sahib asserts that God is the cause of conflict as well as peace, and of destruction as well as creation. Devotees learn that there is nothing outside of God's presence, nothing outside of God's control. Devout Sikhs are encouraged to begin the day with private meditations on the name of God.

Upon a child's birth, the Guru Granth Sahib is opened at a random point and the child is named using the first letter on the top left hand corner of the left page. All boys are given the middle name Singh
Singh
Also see SinhaSingh is a common title, middle name, or surname in Northern India and South India used by sikhs warriors and kings. eg. Man Singh I, Maharana Pratap Singh. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Siṃha meaning "lion and used by Ahir kings of Nepal". It is also used in Sri Lanka by...

, and all girls are given the middle name Kaur
Kaur
Kaur in Sikhism is a mandatory middle name for female Sikhs.-History:Kaur is a name used by Sikh women either as the middle name, or as a last name. It cannot be regarded as a true surname or family name...

 (this was a once a title which was conferred on an indivdual at joining the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

). Sikhs are joined in wedlock through the anand kāraj
Anand Karaj
Anand Karaj is the Sikh marriage ceremony, meaning "Blissful Union" or "Joyful Union", that was introduced by Guru Amar Das. The four Lavan were composed by his successor, Guru Ram Das...

ceremony. Sikhs are required to marry when they are of a sufficient age (child marriage is taboo), and without regard for the future spouse's caste or descent. The marriage ceremony is performed in the company of the Guru Granth Sahib; around which the couple circles four times. After the ceremony is complete, the husband and wife are considered "a single soul in two bodies."

According to Sikh religious rites, neither husband nor wife is permitted to divorce. A Sikh couple that wishes to divorce may be able to do so in a civil court but this is not condoned. Upon death, the body of a Sikh is usually cremated. If this is not possible, any means of disposing the body may be employed. The kīrtan sōhilā and ardās prayers are performed during the funeral ceremony (known as antim sanskār
Antam Sanskar
"Antam" or "Antim" mean Final or Last. "Sanskar" means ritual, rite, ceremony, service.In Sikhism death is considered a natural process and God's will or Hukam...

).

Baptism and the Khalsa



Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 (meaning "Sovereign") is the collective name given by Gobind Singh to all Sikhs who have been baptised or initiated by taking ammrit
Amrita
Amrit is a Sanskrit word that literally means "immortality", and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word's earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. It is related etymologically to the Greek...

in a ceremony called ammrit sañcār. The first time that this ceremony took place was on Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is an ancient harvest festival celebrated across North Indian states, especially Punjab by all Punjabis regardless of religion. In Sikhism the Khalsa was founded on same day as the Vaisakhi festival, so Sikhs celebrate twice as much....

, which fell on 30 March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a city in Rupnagar district in the state of Punjab, India. Known as "the holy City of Bliss," it is a holy city of the Sikhs and is one of their most important sacred places, closely linked with their religious traditions and history...

 in Punjab. It was on that occasion that Gobind Singh baptised the Pañj Piārē
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

 who in turn baptised Gobind Singh himself.

Baptised Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār), or articles of faith, at all times. The 5 items are: kēs
Kesh (Sikhism)
In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

(uncut hair),
{{pp-move-indef}}
{{Sikhi}}
Sikhism{{#tag:ref|Sikh originated from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the
Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 root {{IAST|śiṣya}} meaning "disciple", or {{IAST|śikṣa}} meaning "instruction".|group=note}} (icon or ˈ; {{lang-pa|ਸਿੱਖੀ}}, {{IAST|sikkhī}}, ˈsɪkːʰiː) is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

, by Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

  and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

 (the last teaching being the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

). It is the fifth-largest
Major religious groups
The world's principal religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups, although this is by no means a uniform practice...

 organized religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 in the world and one of the fastest-growing. This system of religious philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat
Gurmat
Gurmat is a term which may in its essential sense be taken to be synonymous with Sikhism itself. It literally means to "have your face towards the guru". It covers doctrinal, prescriptive and directional aspects of Sikh faith and praxis...

 (literally 'of the gurus'). Punjab of India is the only region in the world with a majority Sikh population.

Sikhs embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipahie"—a saint-soldier. One must have control over one's internal vices and be able to be constantly immersed in virtues clarified in the Guru Granth Sahib. A Sikh must also have the courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of religion, colour, caste or creed. Baptized Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s are initiated into the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

, the Khalsa is "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh (10th guru of Sikhism) clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The principal beliefs of Sikhi are faith and justice, in Waheguru
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—represented by the phrase {{unicode|ik ōaṅkār}}, meaning one God. Sikhi advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. The followers of Sikhi are ordained to follow the teachings of the ten Sikh gurus
Sikh Gurus
The Sikh Gurus established Sikhism from over the centuries beginning in the year 1469. Sikhism was founded by the first guru, Guru Nanak, and subsequently, all in order were referred to as "Nanak", and as "Lights", making their teachings in the holy scriptures, equivalent...

, or enlightened leaders, as well as the holy scripture entitled the Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

, which, along with the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus, includes selected works of many devotees from diverse socio-economic and religious backgrounds. The text was decreed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, the tenth guru, as the final guru of the Sikh religion. Sikhi's traditions and teachings are associated with the history, society and culture of Punjab
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

. Adherents of Sikhi are known as Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s (students or disciples) and number over 26 million across the world. Most Sikhs live in Punjab, India, although there is a significant Sikh diaspora
Sikh diaspora
The Sikh diaspora is a relatively recent term used to describe the phenomenon of Punjabi Sikh migration from the traditional area of the Punjab region. Sikhism is an ethnic religion but welcomes converts, the Punjab region being the historic homeland of Sikhism...

. Until the Partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

, millions of Sikhs lived in what is now Pakistani Punjab.

Philosophy and teachings


{{Main|Sikh religious philosophy|Sikhism primary beliefs and principles}}

The origins of Sikhi lie in the teachings of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 and his successors. The essence of Sikh teaching is summed up by Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 in these words: "Realisation of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living". Sikh teaching emphasizes the principle of equality of all humans and rejects discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, and gender. Sikh principles encourage living life as a householder.

Sikhi is a monotheistic and a revealed religion. In Sikhi, God—termed Vāhigurū
Waheguru
Waheguru is a term most often used in Sikhism to refer to God, the Supreme Being or the creator of all. It means "The Good/Best Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Wahi means "good" and "Guru" is a term denoting "teacher"....

—is shapeless
Nirankar
Nirankar means without form or formless and is used in the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, to refer to God....

, timeless
Akal
Akal literally timeless, immortal, non-temporal, is a term integral to Sikh tradition and philosophy. It is extensively used in the Dasam Granth hymns by Guru Gobind Singh, who titled one of his poetic compositions Akal Ustat; i.e., In Praise of the Timeless One . However, the concept of Akal...

, and sightless
Alakh Niranjan
Alakh Niranjan is a term in Hinduism and Sikhism where it is used a synonym for Creator, and to describe the characteristics of God and the Self, known as the Atman. Alakh means "sightless" and niranjan means "spotfree"...

: {{unicode|niraṅkār}}, akāl, and alakh. The beginning of the first composition of Sikh scripture is the figure "1"—signifying the universality of God. It states that God is omnipresent and infinite, and is signified by the term ēk ōaṅkār
Ek Onkar
Ik Onkar is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy. It is a symbol of the unity of God in Sikhism, and is found on all religious scriptures and places such as Gurdwaras. Derived from Punjabi, Ik Onkār is the first phrase in the Mul Mantar referring to the existence of "one constant" taken to...

. Sikhs believe that before creation, all that existed was God and God's hukam
Hukam
Hukam is a Punjabi word derived from the Arabic hukm, meaning "command" or "order." In God whose is referred to as Waheguru. It is by the command of Him that we are born and we die. In the Sikh Scripture, the founder of the religion, Guru Nanak says:...

(will or order). When God willed, the entire cosmos was created. From these beginnings, God nurtured "enticement and attachment" to māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

, or the human perception of reality.

While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings, Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 described God as not wholly unknowable. God is omnipresent (sarav viāpak
Sarav viapak
Sarav Viapak is a term used to describe omnipresence of God in Sikhism. It translates as an "all prevading god". In Sikhism, God is held to be without form, shape colour etc. It is present in every living being in Universe....

) in all creation and visible everywhere to the spiritually awakened. Nanak stressed that God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart", of a human being: devotees must meditate to progress towards enlightenment. Guru Nanak Dev emphasized the revelation through meditation, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings. God has no gender in Sikhi, (though translations may incorrectly present a male God); indeed Sikhi teaches that God is "Akal Purkh" with characteristic of "Nirankar" [Niran meaning "without" and kar meaning "form", hence "without form"]. In addition, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which God has created life.

Pursuing salvation and khalsa



Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

's teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

 or hell
Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

, but on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

. The official Khalsa Code of Conduct laid out by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, makes it clear that human birth is only obtained once, so you get this one chance to live, therefore one needs to be able to handle this chance. The Sikhs believe in living 'Chakar Vati'-roaming free as freedom, not as slaves or be oppressed.

Māyā
Maya (illusion)
Maya , in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Maya is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality...

—defined as illusion or "unreality"—is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: people are distracted from devotion by worldly attractions which give only illusive satisfaction. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhi, the influences of ego
Ahankar
Hankār is the Gurmukhi word originated from a Sanskrit word Ahankāra which translates to mean ego or excessive pride due to one's possessions, material wealth, intelligence or powers. It gives an individual the feeling that he is superior to others and therefore they are at a lower level than he is...

, anger
Krodh
Krodh is derived from the Sanskrit word krodha, which means wrath or Rage. This is an emotion recognized in the Sikh system as a spring of desire and is as such counted as one of the Five Evils....

, greed
Lobh
Lobh is a Gurmukhi word which translates in English to greed; it is a strong desire for worldly possessions and a constant focus on possessing material items, especially the urge to possess what rightfully belongs to others. According to Sikhism, it makes an individual selfish and self-centred. It...

, attachment
Moh
Moh stands in ancient texts for perplexity or confusion as also for the cause of confusion, that is, avidya or ajnana ....

, and lust
Kam
Kam meaning deep desire, uncontrolled longing, concupiscence, sensuality or lasciviousness is counted among the five cardinal sins or sinful propensities in Sikhism. In common usage, the term stands for excessive passion for sexual pleasure and it is in this sense that it is considered an evil...

—known as the Five Evils—are believed to be particularly pernicious. The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.

Nśabad (the divine Word) to emphasise the totality of the revelation. Nanak designated the word guru (meaning teacher) as the voice of God and the source and guide for knowledge and salvation. Salvation can be reached only through rigorous and disciplined devotion to God. Nanak distinctly emphasised the irrelevance of outward observations such as rites, pilgrimages, or asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

. He stressed that devotion must take place through the heart, with the spirit and the soul. According to Gurbani the supreme purpose of human life is to reconnect with Truth. However, our Ego is the biggest disease in the reunion with Truth / God and the solution to this disease also lies within human ego (mind and body). With Guru's grace the seeker meditates honestly on "Word" which leads to the end of ego. Guru is indistinguishable from God and are one and same thing as God which cannot be found with thousands of wisdoms. One gets connected with Guru only with accumulation of selfless search of truth. Ultimately the seeker realizes that it is the consciousness within the body which is seeker / follower and Word is true Guru. Human body is just a means to achieve the reunion with Truth. Truth is a form of matter which lies within human body but is beyond the realm of time / death. Once truth starts to shine in a person’s heart, the essence of current and past holy books of all religions is understood by the person.

A key practice to be pursued is {{unicode|nām
Nam Japo
Nām Japō , or Naam Japna, refers to the meditation, vocal singing of hymns from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib or of the various Names of God, especially the chanting of the word Waheguru, which means "Wonderful Lord". Singing of hymns generally is also referred to as Nām Jap, sometimes also called Nām...

}}
: remembrance of the divine Name. The verbal repetition of the name of God or a sacred syllable is an established practice in religious traditions in India, but Nanak's interpretation emphasized inward, personal observance. Nanak's ideal is the total exposure of one's being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 or the "Divine Order". Nanak described the result of the disciplined application of {{unicode|nām simraṇ}} as a "growing towards and into God" through a gradual process of five stages. The last of these is {{unicode|sach khaṇḍ
Sach Khand
Sach Khand, or Sac Khand, is the Sikh concept of joining with God. It is achieved by the Guru's Grace and through Simran....

}}
(The Realm of Truth)—the final union of the spirit with God.

Guru Nanak stressed now kirat karō
Kirat karo
Kirat Karō is one of the Three pillars of Sikhism, the others being Naam Japo and Vaṇḍ chakkō. The term means to earn an honest, pure and dedicated living by exercising one's God-given skills, abilities, talents and hard labour for the benefit and improvement of the individual, their family and...

: that a Sikh should balance work, worship, and charity, and should defend the rights of all creatures, and in particular, fellow human beings. They are encouraged to have a {{unicode|chaṛdī kalā}}, or optimistic, view of life. Sikh teachings also stress the concept of sharing—{{unicode|vaṇḍ chakkō}}—through the distribution of free food at Sikh gurdwara
Gurdwara
A Gurdwara , meaning the Gateway to the Guru, is the place of worship for Sikhs, the followers of Sikhism. A Gurdwara can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib ....

s ({{unicode|laṅgar}}), giving charitable donations, and working for the good of the community and others (sēvā).

Ten gurus and religious authority


{{Main|Sikh gurus}}

The term guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

 comes from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 gurū, meaning teacher, guide, or mentor. The traditions and philosophy of Sikhi were established by ten specific gurus from 1469 to 1708. Each guru added to and reinforced the message taught by the previous, resulting in the creation of the Sikh religion. Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The Sikhs believe that all subsequent Gurus possessed Guru Nanak’s divinity and religious authority, and were named "Nanak" in the line of succession.-Early life:Guru Nanak was born on 15 April 1469, now...

 was the first guru and appointed a disciple as successor. Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 was the final guru in human form. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh decreed that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 would be the final and perpetual guru of the Sikhs.

Guru Angad Dev succeeded Guru Nanak. Later, an important phase in the development of Sikhi came with the third successor, Guru Amar Das. Guru Nanak's teachings emphasised the pursuit of salvation; Guru Amar Das began building a cohesive community of followers with initiatives such as sanctioning distinctive ceremonies for birth, marriage, and death. Amar Das also established the manji (comparable to a diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

) system of clerical supervision.

Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das was the third of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 26 March 1552.-His life:...

's successor and son-in-law Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das
Guru Ram Das was the fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism and was given the title of Sikh Guru on 30 August 1574.-Early life:Ram Das was born in Lahore, Punjab on 24 September 1534[1] to a Sodhi family of the Khatri clan. His father was Hari Das and his mother Anup Devi. His wife was Bibi Bhani,...

 founded the city of Amritsar
Amritsar
Amritsar is a city in the northern part of India and is the administrative headquarters of Amritsar district in the state of Punjab, India. The 2001 Indian census reported the population of the city to be over 1,500,000, with that of the entire district numbering 3,695,077...

, which is home of the Harimandir Sahib and regarded widely as the holiest city for all Sikhs. When Guru Ram Das's youngest son Arjan succeeded him, the line of male gurus from the Sodhi Khatri family was established: all succeeding gurus were direct descendants of this line. Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 was captured by Mughal
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

 authorities who were suspicious and hostile to the religious order he was developing. His persecution and death inspired his successors to promote a military and political organization of Sikh communities to defend themselves against the attacks of Mughal forces.

The Sikh gurus established a mechanism which allowed the Sikh religion to react as a community to changing circumstances. The sixth guru, Guru Hargobind
Guru Har Gobind
Guru Hargobind Sahib, also Saccha Badshah was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was not, perhaps, more than eleven at his father's execution...

, was responsible for the creation of the concept of Akal Takht
Akal Takht
The Akal Takht of the Timeless One or Seat of God. It is one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs equivalent to any parliament of world sovereign country. Akal means The Timeless One - another term for God. Takht means 'seat' or 'throne' in Persian...

 (throne of the timeless one), which serves as the supreme decision-making centre of Sikhi and sits opposite the Darbar Sahib. The {{unicode|Sarbat Ḵẖālsā
Sarbat Khalsa
Sarbat Khalsa from sarva, a Sanskrit word meaning all or everything, was a biannual deliberative assembly of the entire Khalsa held at Amritsar in Panjab during the 18th century...

}}
(a representative portion of the Khalsa Panth) historically gathers at the Akal Takht on special festivals such as Vaisakhi or Hola Mohalla and when there is a need to discuss matters that affect the entire Sikh nation. A gurmatā
Gurmata
A Gurmata is an order passed by the Sarbat Khalsa in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib. A gurmata may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion and is binding upon all Sikhs....

(literally, guru's intention) is an order passed by the {{unicode|Sarbat Ḵẖālsā}} in the presence of the Gurū Granth Sāhib. A gurmatā may only be passed on a subject that affects the fundamental principles of Sikh religion; it is binding upon all Sikhs. The term hukamnāmā
Hukamnama
A Hukamnama refers to a hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib which is given as an order to Sikhs or a historical order given by one of the Guru's of Sikhism....

(literally, edict or royal order) is often used interchangeably with the term gurmatā. However, a hukamnāmā formally refers to a hymn from the Gurū Granth Sāhib which is a given order to Sikhs.

History


{{Main|History of Sikhism}}
Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhi, was born in the village of Rāi Bhōi dī Talwandī, now called Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 (in present-day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

). His parents were Khatri
Khatri
Khatri is a caste from the northern Indian subcontinent. Khatris in India are mostly from Punjab, region but later they migrated to regions like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber...

 Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s of the Bedi clan. As a boy, Nanak was fascinated by God and religion. He would not partake in religious rituals or customs and oddly meditated alone. His desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home and take missionary journeys.

In his early teens, Nanak caught the attention of the local landlord Rai Bular Bhatti, who was moved by his amazing intellect and divine qualities. Rai Bular was witness to many incidents in which Nanak enchanted him and as a result Rai Bular and Nanak's sister Bibi Nanki, became the first persons to recognise the divine qualities in Nanak. Both of them then encouraged and supported Nanak to study and travel. At the age of thirty, Nanak went missing and was presumed to have drowned after going for one of his morning baths to a local stream called the Kali Bein. On the day he arrived, he declared: "There is no Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, there is no Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

" (in Punjabi, "nā kōi hindū nā kōi musalmān"). It was from this moment that Nanak would begin to spread the teachings of what was then the beginning of Sikhi. Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, he is widely acknowledged to have made five major journeys, spanning thousands of miles, the first tour being east towards Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

, the second south towards Andhra and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, the third north towards Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

, and Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, and the fourth tour west towards Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 and Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

. In his last and final tour, he returned to the banks of the Ravi River to end his days.

Growth of Sikhi and Rise of Khalsa



The tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

, created the Khalsa. Which means "Akal Purakh de fauj" - the Army of God. Guru Gobind Singh clearly choose these words very deliberately - He did not state that the Khalsa was the army of the Khalsa or an army of the Sikhs or the army of Punjab - but an Army of God whose function was the protection and safeguarding of all the peoples of God regardless of religion, colour, race or creed.

The Sikh Khalsa rise to power began during the 17th century. During a time of of growing militancy against the Muslim rule. The creation of a Sikh Empire began when Guru Gobind Singh sent his brave Sikh general, Banda Singh Bahadur along with some hundred Singhs to punish those who had committed atrocities against Pir Buddhu Shah and avenge the murder of his youngest sons. Banda Singh with a large group of Sikhs advanced towards the main Muslim Mughal city of Sirhind and followed the instructions of the guru he punished all the culprits. Soon after the invasion of Sirhind, Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed by a Pathan assassin hired by Mughals, Jamshed Khan stabbed the Guru in the left side below the heart while he was resting in his chamber after the Rehras prayer. Guru Gobind Singh killed the attacker with his sword, while the assassins companion tried to flee but was killed by some Sikhs who had rushed in on hearing the noise. A European surgeon stitched the Guru's wound. However, the wound re-opened as the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow after a few days, and caused profuse bleeding. Seeing his end was near, the Guru declared the Granth Sahib as the next Guru of the Sikhs.[29]

He then sang his self-composed hymn:
"Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabh Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru Maneyo Granth, Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe."

Translation of the above:
"Under orders of the Immortal Being, the Panth was created. All the Sikhs are enjoined to accept the Granth as their Guru. Consider the Guru Granth as embodiment of the Gurus. Those who want to meet God, can find Him in its hymns. The Khalsa shall rule, and impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved."

The death of the Guru reached Banda Singh and Sikhs all over Punjab. After this the Sikhs took over many Muslim and Mughal lands, establishing a Sikh Empire.
Other existing Muslim Emperors proclaimed a jihad or a holy war against Banda Singh and the Khalsa. However many Muslim army’s and their Generals fled in dismay and despair after Wazir Khan's head was stuck up on a spear and lifted high up by a Sikh who took his seat at Sirhind, Muslim troops on beholding the head took alarm. Many Muslims embraced Sikhism and joined the Khalsa. Banda Singh at this time also married the daughter of a Muslim General, . However the concept of jihad was re-proclaimed, it took over 60,000 Muslim troops to capture 400 Sikh's and Banda Singh, where Banda Singh was captured and tortured. Banda Singh's mission played an important development of the Dal Khalsa and the Sikh Misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

s, which eventually led to a new king, Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh may refer to:*Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire*Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur, the Jat ruler of the Bharatpur princely state in Rajasthan, India...

 capturing Lahore in 1799 and establishing the Sikh Kingdom of Punjab. The new king and the Sikh Misls rose to power in a series of sweeping military and diplomatic victories. Increasing the number of Sikhs and spreading the Empire further. His vast empire comprised almost 200,000 square miles (520,000 km2) of what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India.
The Empire of the Sikhs was widely feared by many natives including Muslims, Hindus, Persians and many Asian countries. Even many Pathans who had previously lived their during the Islamic rule, attempted many times to attack the Empire with over 20,000 troops, in which case Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his most bravest Sikh warrior, named Akali Phula Singh Nihang (at the age of 65) and a few hundred Singhs to deal with the Invading Pathans and bring them under control. Soon during a battle, a Pathan hiding behind a boulder shot Akali Phula Singh from close range during a battle with a number of Pathan soldiers began shooting him. Akali Phula Singh was found bullet ridden.

British recruit of Sikhs


The Sikhs remained control of the Empire, faced many odds and overcame them all, however another challenge was yet to come. In the East, the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 took over thousands of square miles of land, including eastern parts of India and many Asian countries, soon reaching the Sikh Empire where the British would also meet their biggest challenge during their Conquest.

Both British and Sikh sides lost many troops and heavy number of materials in various battles, such as the Anglo-Sikh wars
Anglo-Sikh wars
There have been two Anglo-Sikh wars:*The First Anglo-Sikh War *The Second Anglo-Sikh War...

. The British was claimed to be unbeatable, but Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikhs were the only people who could stand toe to toe with the British forces. For the first time during the British Conquest the British were unable to invade and resulted in both sides having to stop and come to terms. Narrated by Mohanlal Kashmiri, Secretary to Sir Alexander Burnes, Maharaja Ranjit Singh replied to the British, "As long as I'm alive, the British will never conquest here."
This led to further Anglo-Sikh wars and further loss on both sides. In 1839, the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Empire fell on the shoulders of his son, Maharaja Duleep Singh (at the age of 11). The Empire had fallen. The British Commission General describes Maharaja Ranjit Singh, "was by all accounts a fierce and revered conquerer."


After seeing the strength of the Sikhs in Punjab, the British then decided to recruit as many Sikhs as possible into the British Army. Sikhs accounted for over 25% of the British soldiers who fought in WW1 and WW2 (that is more then the Irish, Scottish and Welsh combined). The Sikhs won over 24 battle honours, including one very long task which took almost a week for the British Army to push back the German Army, however on Friday 1916, the Sikh Regiment was sent in and the Sikhs pushed back the German Invaders in a night.
It was because of the Sikhs that Hitler was unable to cross the borders of France (an easy gateway into invading Britain). Hitler after seeing the strength of the Sikhs even announced "If I had just a small battalion of Sikhs I shall conquer the world". Sikhs believe dying on the battle field is the greatest death a Sikh can have, during the World Wars when the British soldiers ran out of ammunition Sikhs would take out their swords and march towards the enemy, fighting to their last breaths, literally taking the words of their tenth guru to heart "When all means fail it is righteous to raise sword".
Even today the British Army are so keen to recruit as many Sikhs as possible.

Political advancement


Hargobind, became the sixth guru of the Sikhs. He carried two swords—one for spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 and the other for temporal
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 reasons (known as mīrī and pīrī in Sikhi). Sikhs grew as an organized community and under the 10th Guru the Sikhs developed a trained fighting force to defend their independence. In 1644, Har Rai
Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai was the seventh of ten living Gurus of the Sikhs who became Guru on 8 March 1644 following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Har Gobind, who was the sixth guru. Before he died, he nominated five year old Har Krishan, his youngest son as the next Guru of the Sikhs...

 became guru followed by Harkrishan, the boy guru, in 1661. No hymns composed by these three gurus are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.

Tegh Bahadur became guru in 1665 and led the Sikhs until 1675. Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 for helping to protect the faith of Hindus, after a delegation of Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

s came to him for help when the Emperor was killing those who refused to convert to Islam. He was succeeded by his son, Gobind Rai who was just nine years old at the time of his father's death. Gobind Rai further militarised his followers, and was baptised by the {{unicode|Pañj Piārē
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

}}
when he formed the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 on March 30, 1699. From here on in he was known as Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

From the time of Nanak the Sikhs had significantly transformed. Even though the core Sikh spiritual philosophy was never affected, the followers now began to develop a political identity. Conflict with Mughal authorities escalated during the lifetime of Teg Bahadur and Gobind Singh. The latter founded the Khalsa in 1699. The Khalsa is a disciplined community that combines its spiritual purpose and goals with political and military duties. After Aurangzeb killed four of his sons, Gobind Singh sent Aurangzeb the Zafarnamah
Zafarnamah
Zafarnāmah means the Epistle of Victory and is the name given to the letter sent by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 1705 to the Mughal Emperor of India, Aurangzeb. The letter is written in Persian verse....

 (Notification/Epistle of Victory).

Shortly before his death, Gobind Singh ordered that the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 (the Sikh Holy Scripture), would be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs and temporal authority would be vested in the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

—the Sikh Nation.

A former ascetic was charged by Gobind Singh with the duty of punishing those who had persecuted the innocents in Punjab. After the Guru's death, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur became the commander-in-chief of the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and was responsible for several attacks on the Mughal empire. He was executed by the emperor Farukh Siyar after refusing the offer of a pardon if he converted to Islam.

The Sikh nation's embrace of military and political organisation made it a considerable regional force in medieval India and it continued to evolve after the demise of the gurus. After the death of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Sikh Confederacy
Sikh Confederacy
The Sikh Empire was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The empire, based around the Punjab region, existed from 1799 to 1849. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Punjabi Misls...

 of Sikh warrior bands known as misls were formed. With the decline of the Mughal empire, a Sikh Empire arose in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji was the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.-Early life:...

, with its capital in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and limits reaching the Khyber Pass
Khyber Pass
The Khyber Pass, is a mountain pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.The Pass was an integral part of the ancient Silk Road. It is mentioned in the Bible as the "Pesh Habor," and it is one of the oldest known passes in the world....

 and the borders of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The order, traditions and discipline developed over centuries culminated at the time of Ranjit Singh to give rise to the common religious and social identity that the term "Sikhi" describes.

After the death of Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Empire fell into disorder and was eventually annexed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 after the hard-fought First
First Anglo-Sikh War
The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.-Background and causes of the war:...

 and Second
Second Anglo-Sikh War
The Second Anglo-Sikh War took place in 1848 and 1849, between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company. It resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Empire, and the annexation of the Punjab and what subsequently became the North-West Frontier Province by the East India Company.-Background...

 Anglo-Sikh Wars. This brought the Punjab under the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. Sikhs formed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is an organization in India responsible for the upkeep of gurdwaras, Sikh places of worship in three states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. SGPC also administers Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Gurdwaras in Delhi are the administered by Delhi Sikh...

 and the Shiromani Akali Dal
Shiromani Akali Dal
The Shiromani Akali Dal , translation: Supreme Akali Party) is a Sikh nationalist political parties based in Punjab. The current party to be recognized by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Parkash Singh Badal...

 to preserve Sikhs' religious and political organization a quarter of a century later. With the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 in 1947, thousands of Sikhs were killed in violence and millions were forced to leave their ancestral homes in West Punjab
West Punjab
West Punjab was a province of Pakistan from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 160,622 km², including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely state of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province...

. Sikhs faced initial opposition from the Government in forming a linguistic state that other states in India were afforded. The Akali Dal started a non-violence movement for Sikh and Punjabi rights. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in India, who supported implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution. In 1981, Bhindranwale was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder of Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind...

 emerged as a leader of the Damdami Taksal
Damdami Taksal
The Damdami Taksal is a 300 years old educational organization said to have been founded by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. According to the Damdami Taksal, it was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the reading , analysis and recitation of the Sikh scriptures by Guru Gobind...

 in 1977 and promoted a more militant solution to the problem. In June 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 ordered the Indian army to launch Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star
Operation Blue Star ) 3– 6 June 1984 was an Indian military operation, ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, to remove Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar...

 to remove Bhindranwale and his followers from the Darbar Sahib. Bhindranwale and his accompanying followers were killed during the army's operations. In October, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards. The assassination was followed by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
1984 anti-Sikh riots
The 1984 Anti-Sikh pogroms / riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre was a sikh genocide there was four days of violence in northern India, particularly Delhi, during which armed mobs killed Sikhs, looted and set fire to Sikh homes, businesses and schools, and attacked gurdwaras, in response to the...

. and Hindu-Sikh conflicts in Punjab, as a reaction to Operation Blue Star and the assassin.

Scripture


There is one primary source of scripture for the Sikhs: the Gurū Granth Sāhib. The Gurū Granth Sāhib may be referred to as the Ādi Granth—literally, The First Volume—and the two terms are often used synonymously. Here, however, the Ādi Granth refers to the version of the scripture created by Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 in 1604. The Gurū Granth Sāhib refers to the final version of the scripture created by Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

.

There are other sources of scriptures such as the Dasam Granth
Dasam Granth
Dasven Patshah Da Granth or Dasam Granth , often called Sri Dasam Granth Sahib with respect, is a scripture of Sikhism, containing some of the texts attributed to 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Although the Dasam Granth is commonly confused with the Guru Granth Sahib, there is no overlap in...

 and so called Janamsakhis
Janamsakhis
The Janamsakhis , literally birth stories, are writings which profess to be biographies of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak. These compositions have been written at various stages after the death of the first guru.-Overview:...

. These however, have been the subject of controversial debate amongst the Sikh community.

Adi Granth


{{Main|Ādi Granth}}
The Ādi Granth was compiled primarily by Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas
Bhai Gurdas was a Punjabi Sikh writer, historian, preacher and religious figure. He was the original scribe of the Guru Granth Sahib and a companion of four of the Sikh Gurus.-Early life:...

 under the supervision of Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev
Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

 between the years 1603 and 1604. It is written in the Gurmukhī script, which is a descendant of the {{unicode|Laṇḍā
Landa
Landa is a Basque surname.Landa may refer to:Places* Landa, North Dakota* Landa de MatamorosPeople* Alfredo Landa* Diego de Landa, fourth bishop of Yucatan* Daniel Landa, Czech musician* Eli Landa* Honorino Landa* Konstantin Landa...

}} script used in the Punjab at that time. The Gurmukhī script was standardised by Angad Dev, the second guru of the Sikhs, for use in the Sikh scriptures and is thought to have been influenced by the Śāradā
Sarada script
The Śāradā, or Sharada, script is an abugida writing system of the Brahmic family of scripts, developed around the 8th century. It was used for writing Sanskrit and Kashmiri. The Gurmukhī script was developed from Śāradā...

 and Devanāgarī
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 scripts. An authoritative scripture was created to protect the integrity of hymns and teachings of the Sikh gurus and selected bhagats. At the time, Arjan Sahib tried to prevent undue influence from the followers of Prithi Chand, the guru's older brother and rival.

The original version of the Ādi Granth is known as the {{unicode|kartārpur bīṛ}} and is claimed to be held by the Sodhi family of Kartarpur.{{Citation needed|date=November 2009}} (In fact the original volume was burned by Ahmad Shah Durrani's army in 1757 when they burned the whole town of Kartarpur.){{Citation needed|date=November 2009}}

Guru Granth Sahib



{{Main|Gurū Granth Sāhib}}
The final version of the Gurū Granth Sāhib
Guru Granth Sahib
Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

 was compiled by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

 in 1678. It consists of the original Ādi Granth with the addition of Guru Tegh Bahadur's hymns. The Guru Granth Sahib is considered the Eleventh and final spiritual authority of the Sikhs.
Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

: {{lang|pa|ਸੱਬ ਸਿੱਖਣ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ।}}
Transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

: {{unicode|Sabb sikkhaṇ kō hukam hai gurū mānyō granth
Guru Maneyo Granth
Guru Maneyo Granth , refers to the historic statement of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh , shortly before his death affirming the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, thus terminating the line of human Gurus. Installed as the Guru Granth Sahib, it is now the central text of Sikhism, and...

.}}
All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru.


It contains compositions by the first five Gurus, Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Teg Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur became the 9th Guru of Sikhi on 20 March 1665, following in the footsteps of his grand-nephew, Guru Har Krishan. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi....

 and just one {{unicode|śalōk
Shloka
A ' is a category of verse line developed from the Vedic Anuṣṭubh. It is the basis for Indian Epic verse, and may be considered the Indian verse form par excellence, occurring, as it does, far more frequently than any other meter in classical Sanskrit poetry. The Mahabharata and Ramayana, for...

}}
(couplet) from Guru Gobind Singh. It also contains the traditions and teachings of sants (saints) such as Kabir
Kabir
Kabīr was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement...

, Namdev
Namdev
Sant Namdeo or Bhagat Namdeo was born on October 29, 1270 in the state of Maharashtra village of Narasi-Bamani, in Hingoli district . His father, a calico printer/tailor, was named Damshet and his mother's name was Gonabai...

, Ravidas, and Sheikh Farid along with several others.

The bulk of the scripture is classified into rāgs
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

, with each rāg subdivided according to length and author. There are 31 main rāgs within the Gurū Granth Sāhib. In addition to the rāgs, there are clear references to the folk music of Punjab. The main language used in the scripture is known as {{unicode|Sant Bhāṣā
Sant Bhasha
Sant Bhasha is a scriptural language related to both Punjabi and Hindi. It was used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion, esp. Sikhism....

}}
, a language related to both Punjabi and Hindi and used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion. As per the name "Gurmukhi", it is not merely a script but it is the language which came out of Guru's mouth - by using this definition, all words in Guru Granth Sahib constitute "Gurbani" words, thus making Gurmukhi language which then constitute two components - spoken Gurmukhi words (in form of Gurbani which originated from different languages (like world's different languages have similar roots) and Gurmukhi script.The text further comprises over 5000 śabads, or hymns, which are poetically constructed and set to classical form of music rendition, can be set to predetermined musical tāl
Tala (music)
Tāla, Taal or Tal is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition and for the entire subject of rhythm, roughly corresponding to metre in Western music, though closer conceptual equivalents are to be found in other Asian classical systems such as the notion...

, or rhythmic beats.
The Granth begins with the Mūl Mantra
Mul Mantra
The Mul Mantar is the first composition in the Sikh holy book, the Adi Granth. It is a series of affirmations and is the basis of Sikh theology. The Mul Mantar is the first composition of Guru Nanak and the origin of the Adi Granth. The Adi Granth begins with the Mul Mantar and it occurs more than...

, an iconic verse created by Nanak:
{{lang-pa|ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥}}
ISO 15919
ISO 15919
ISO 15919 Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters is an international standard for the transliteration of Indic scripts to the Latin alphabet formed in 2001...

 transliteration
Transliteration
Transliteration is a subset of the science of hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another...

: {{unicode|Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gura prasādi.}}
Simplified transliteration: {{unicode|Ik ōaṅgkār sat nām kartā purkh nirbha'u nirvair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhaṅ gur prasād.}}
The One of which everything is and continous, the ever existing, creator being personified, without fear, without hatred, image Of the timeless being, beyond birth, self existent, by Guru's Grace.


All text within the Granth is known as gurbānī. And Gurbani is the Guru "Baani Guru Guru hai Baani" (The word is the Guru and Guru is the word) and "Shabd Guru Surat Dhun Chaylaa" (The Shabad is the Guru, upon whom I lovingly focus my consciousness; I am the disciple.). Therefore, as evident from the message of the Guru Nanak (first Guru) Shabad (or word) was always the Guru (the enlightener); however, as Sikhism stand on the dual strands of Miri-Piri, the Guru in Sikhism is a combination of teacher-leader. Therefore, the lineage from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh was of the teacher-leaders eventually wherein the temporal authority was passed on to the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 and spiritual authority, which always was with, passed to Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

(thence the Guru Granth Sahib).

Therefore, Guru Granth Sahib and its 11th body -the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 is the Guru, teacher-leader, of the Sikhs till eternity.

Dasam Granth


{{Main|Dasam Granth}}

The Dasam Granth is a scripture of Sikhs which contains texts attributed to the Tenth Guru
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

. The Dasam Granth holds a significance of great amount for Sikhs, however it doesn't have the same authority as Adi Granth
Adi Granth
Adi Granth is the early compilation of the Sikh Scriptures by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Sikh Guru, in 1604. This Granth is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh added further holy Shabads to this Granth during the period 1704 to 1706...

. Some compositions of the Dasam Granth like Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib
Jaap Sahib is the morning prayer of the Sikhs. The Prayer or Bani was composed by the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh. This Bani is one of 5 Banis that a Sikh must recite everyday and is recited by the Panj Pyare while preparing Amrit on the occasion of Amrit Sanchar , a ceremony held to admit...

, (Amrit Savaiye
Amrit Savaiye
Sudha Swayas was composed by Guru Gobind Singh to give an opinion on how to worship God. This Bani appears in the Dasam Granth on pages 13 to 15.-Translation:Below is the English transliteration and translation:*Ik Oangkar waheguru ji ki fateh....

), and Benti Chaupai are part of the daily prayers/lessons (Nitnem
Nitnem
Nit Nem is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by sikhs every day.The Nit Nem bani's usually include the Panj bania which are read in the morning 1am and Rehras Sahib in the evening 6pm and Kirtan Sohila at night 9pm*Japji Sahib *Jaap Sahib *Tav-Prasad Savaiye*Benti...

) of/for Sikhs.

Janamsakhis


{{Main|Janamsākhīs}}

The Janamsākhīs (literally birth stories), are writings which profess to be biographies of Nanak. Although not scripture in the strictest sense, they provide an interesting look at Nanak's life and the early start of Sikhi. There are several—often contradictory and sometimes unreliable—Janamsākhīs and they are not held in the same regard as other sources of scriptural knowledge.

Observances


Observant Sikhs adhere to long-standing practices and traditions to strengthen and express their faith. The daily recitation from memory of specific passages from the Gurū Granth Sāhib, especially the Japu (or Japjī, literally chant) hymns is recommended immediately after rising and bathing. Family customs include both reading passages from the scripture and attending the gurdwara (also gurduārā, meaning the doorway to God; sometimes transliterated as gurudwara). There are many gurdwaras prominently constructed and maintained across India, as well as in almost every nation where Sikhs reside. Gurdwaras are open to all, regardless of religion, background, caste, or race.

Worship in a gurdwara consists chiefly of singing of passages from the scripture. Sikhs will commonly enter the temple, touch the ground before the holy scripture with their foreheads.. The recitation of the eighteenth century ardās
Ardas
The Ardās is a Sikh prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis ; or completion of a service like the Paath , kirtan program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating...

is also customary for attending Sikhs. The ardās recalls past sufferings and glories of the community, invoking divine grace for all humanity.

The most sacred shrine is the Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, famously known as the Golden Temple. Groups of Sikhs regularly visit and congregate at the Harimandir Sahib. On specific occasions, groups of Sikhs are permitted to undertake a pilgrimage to Sikh shrines in the province of Punjab in Pakistan, especially at Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib
Nankana Sahib , earlier known as Rai-Bhoi-Di-Talwandi, is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is named after the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev, the central figure in Sikhism who was born here, so it is a city of high historic and religious value and is a popular pilgrimage site...

 and other Gurdwaras. Other places of interest to Sikhi in Pakistan includes the samādhī
Samadhi
Samadhi in Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools is a higher level of concentrated meditation, or dhyāna. In the yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali....

(place of cremation) of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Lahore.

The Sikh faith also participates in the custom of "Langar" or the community meal. All temples are open to anyone of any faith for a free meal. People can enter and eat together and are served by faithful members of the community. This is the main cost associated with gurdwaras and where monetary donations are primarily spent.

Sikh festivals/events


Technically, there are no festivals in Sikhism. However, the events mostly centred around the lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs are commemorated. The SGPC, the Sikh organisation in charge of upkeep of the historical gurdwaras of Punjab, organises celebrations based on the new Nanakshahi calendar. This calendar is highly controversial among Sikhs and is not universally accepted. Several events(Hola Mohalla, Bandi Chhor divas, and Guru Nanak's birthday) continue to be celebrated using the Hindu calendar
Hindu calendar
The hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization, and today there are several regional Indian calendars, as well as an Indian national calendar. Nepali calendar, Bengali calendar, Malayalam calendar, Tamil calendar, Telugu calendar, Kannada...

. Sikh festivals include the following:
  • Gurpurabs are celebrations or commemorations based on the lives of the Sikh gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom. All ten Gurus have Gurpurabs on the Nanakshahi calendar, but it is Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh who have a gurpurab that is widely celebrated in Gurdwaras and Sikh homes. The martyrdoms are also known as a shaheedi Gurpurabs, which mark the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev
    Guru Arjan Dev Ji was the fifth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was born in Goindval, Punjab, India, the youngest son of Guru Ram Das and Bibi Bhani, the daughter of Guru Amar Das. He became the Guru of the Sikhs on 1 September 1581 after the death of his father Guru Ram Das. Guru Arjan died in...

     and Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  • Baisakhi occurs on 13 April. Sikhs celebrate it because on this day which fell on March30, 1699, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, inaugurated the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

    , the 11th body of Guru Granth Sahib and leader of Sikhs till eternity.
  • Bandi Chhor celebrates Guru Hargobind's release from the Gwalior Fort
    Gwalior Fort
    ċċċċċt̪--122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 --122.177.251.15 13:02, 20 November 2011 Gwalior Fort in Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, stands on an isolated rock, overlooking the Gwalior town, and contains a number of historic...

    , with several innocent Hindu kings who were also imprisoned by Jahangir
    Jahangir
    Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

    , on 26 October 1619. This day usually commemorated on the same day of Hindu festival of Diwali
    Diwali
    Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

    .
  • Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mohalla
    Hola Mahalla is a Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. It most often falls in March, and sometimes coincides with the Sikh New Year. The event lasts for a week, and consists of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting...

     occurs the day after Holi
    Holi
    Holi , is a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus. Holi is also known as festival of Colours. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and countries with large Indic diaspora populations following Hinduism, such as Suriname, Malaysia, Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, United...

     and is when the Khalsa
    Khalsa
    +YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

     gather at Anandpur and display their individual and team warrior skills, including fighting and riding. Cannabis or Bhang is also pounded by the Sikhs on this day.

Ceremonies and customs


Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught that rituals, religious ceremonies, or idol worship is of little use and Sikhs are discouraged from fasting or going on pilgrimages. Sikhs do not believe in converting people but converts to Sikhi by choice are welcomed. The morning and evening prayers take about two hours a day, starting in the very early morning hours. The first morning prayer is Guru Nanak's Jap Ji. Jap, meaning "recitation", refers to the use of sound, as the best way of approaching the divine. Like combing hair, hearing and reciting the sacred word is used as a way to comb all negative thoughts out of the mind. The second morning prayer is Guru Gobind Singh's universal Jaap Sahib. The Guru addresses God as having no form, no country, and no religion but as the seed of seeds, sun of suns, and the song of songs. The Jaap Sahib asserts that God is the cause of conflict as well as peace, and of destruction as well as creation. Devotees learn that there is nothing outside of God's presence, nothing outside of God's control. Devout Sikhs are encouraged to begin the day with private meditations on the name of God.

Upon a child's birth, the Guru Granth Sahib is opened at a random point and the child is named using the first letter on the top left hand corner of the left page. All boys are given the middle name Singh
Singh
Also see SinhaSingh is a common title, middle name, or surname in Northern India and South India used by sikhs warriors and kings. eg. Man Singh I, Maharana Pratap Singh. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Siṃha meaning "lion and used by Ahir kings of Nepal". It is also used in Sri Lanka by...

, and all girls are given the middle name Kaur
Kaur
Kaur in Sikhism is a mandatory middle name for female Sikhs.-History:Kaur is a name used by Sikh women either as the middle name, or as a last name. It cannot be regarded as a true surname or family name...

 (this was a once a title which was conferred on an indivdual at joining the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

). Sikhs are joined in wedlock through the anand kāraj
Anand Karaj
Anand Karaj is the Sikh marriage ceremony, meaning "Blissful Union" or "Joyful Union", that was introduced by Guru Amar Das. The four Lavan were composed by his successor, Guru Ram Das...

ceremony. Sikhs are required to marry when they are of a sufficient age (child marriage is taboo), and without regard for the future spouse's caste or descent. The marriage ceremony is performed in the company of the Guru Granth Sahib; around which the couple circles four times. After the ceremony is complete, the husband and wife are considered "a single soul in two bodies."

According to Sikh religious rites, neither husband nor wife is permitted to divorce. A Sikh couple that wishes to divorce may be able to do so in a civil court but this is not condoned. Upon death, the body of a Sikh is usually cremated. If this is not possible, any means of disposing the body may be employed. The kīrtan sōhilā and ardās prayers are performed during the funeral ceremony (known as antim sanskār
Antam Sanskar
"Antam" or "Antim" mean Final or Last. "Sanskar" means ritual, rite, ceremony, service.In Sikhism death is considered a natural process and God's will or Hukam...

).

Baptism and the Khalsa



Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

 (meaning "Sovereign") is the collective name given by Gobind Singh to all Sikhs who have been baptised or initiated by taking ammrit
Amrita
Amrit is a Sanskrit word that literally means "immortality", and is often referred to in texts as nectar. The word's earliest occurrence is in the Rigveda where it is one of several synonyms of soma, the drink which confers immortality upon the gods. It is related etymologically to the Greek...

in a ceremony called ammrit sañcār. The first time that this ceremony took place was on Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi is an ancient harvest festival celebrated across North Indian states, especially Punjab by all Punjabis regardless of religion. In Sikhism the Khalsa was founded on same day as the Vaisakhi festival, so Sikhs celebrate twice as much....

, which fell on 30 March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a city in Rupnagar district in the state of Punjab, India. Known as "the holy City of Bliss," it is a holy city of the Sikhs and is one of their most important sacred places, closely linked with their religious traditions and history...

 in Punjab. It was on that occasion that Gobind Singh baptised the Pañj Piārē
Panj Piare
The Panj Piare , name given to the five Sikhs, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh, Bhai Himmat Singh, Bhai Mohkam Singh and Bhai Sahib Singh, who were so designated by Guru Gobind Singh at the historic divan at Anandpur Sahib on 30 March 1699 and who formed the nucleus of the Khalsa as the first...

 who in turn baptised Gobind Singh himself.

Baptised Sikhs are bound to wear the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār), or articles of faith, at all times. The 5 items are: kēs
Kesh (Sikhism)
In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one's hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God's creation. The practice is one of the Five Ks, the outward symbols ordered by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 as a means to profess the Sikh faith...

(uncut hair), {{unicode
Kanga (Sikhism)
The Sikhs were commanded by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in 1699 to wear a small comb called a Kanga at all times. Kanga must be worn by all baptised Sikhs , after a mandatory religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh in AD 1699.This was one of five articles of faith,...

(small comb), {{unicode
Kara (Sikhism)
A kara , is a steel or iron bracelet, worn by both male and female initiated Sikhs. It is one of the five kakars or 5Ks — external articles of faith — that identify a Sikh as dedicated to their religious order. The kara was instituted by the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi...

(circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpān
Kirpan
The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

(sword/dagger), and kacchā
Kaccha
Kacchera or Kaccha are specially designed short, shalwar-like) loose undergarments with a tie-knot worn by baptized Sikhs. It is one of the five Sikh articles of faith called the Five Ks , and was given as a "gift of love" by Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanskar in 1699...

(special undergarment). The Five Ks have both practical and symbolic purposes.

The Sikh Attire - Warriors in blue



The Nihangs belong to the Khalsa
Khalsa
+YouWebImagesVideosMapsNewsMailMoreTranslateFrom: ArabicTo: EnglishEnglishHindiEnglishAllow phonetic typingHindiEnglishArabicAssumptionGoogle Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite TranslatorGlobal Market Finder...

, created by Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

. The Nihang wear robes of electric blue
Electric blue
Electric blue is a very bright color reminiscent of a spark, named after the color of an argon sign. It is very similar to cyan.Additionally, the term may refer to:-Biology:...

, bracelets of iron round their wrists (kara
Kara (Sikhism)
A kara , is a steel or iron bracelet, worn by both male and female initiated Sikhs. It is one of the five kakars or 5Ks — external articles of faith — that identify a Sikh as dedicated to their religious order. The kara was instituted by the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi...

), and quoits of steel (chakram
Chakram
The chakram , sometimes called a war quoit, is a throwing weapon from India. Its shape is of a flat metal hoop with a sharp outer edge from in diameter...

) in their lofty conical blue turbans, together with daggers, knives and swords of varying sizes (kirpan
Kirpan
The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

), and many other weapons.

General Banda Bahadur
Banda Bahadur
Banda Singh Bahadur was a Sikh warrior and martyr. He became part of struggle against the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century, after meeting Guru Gobind Singh. Guru Gobind Singh gave him the new name of Banda Singh Bahadur...

, the famous disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, went from being a Hindu to a Sikh and adapted to wearing this attire.

The Sikh Turban - Dumalla


The Sikh turban, known as the Dastar or a Dumalla, is mandatory for all Khalsa Sikhs to wear. (In the West, many Sikhs who wear pagri, olden Arab style turban, are sometimes mistaken for Muslims or Arabs.[7]). The Sikhs have a long history of being warriors and referred to as saint-soldiers, since their rise in the 1600-1700's. Their turban style and attire gives the identity of a warrior religion.

As a symbol of respect for God, Sikhs do not cut their hair. The turban protects the hair and keeps it clean. People from many other religions including Hindus, Jews, and traditionally many Christians including Catholics only cover their head during worship (Source: Christian Head Covering). Because Sikhs believe God to be present everywhere, they wear their turban at all times.
As Sikhs only form 2% of India’s population, their warrior style turbans also help identify them. When he institutionalized the turban as a part of the Sikh identity, Guru Gobind Singh Ji said, “My Sikh will be recognized among millions.”
The Dumalla
Dumalla
The Dumalla or full name Chand Tora Dumalla is the style of turban generally worn by Nihang Khalsa Sikhs. This is a warrior style turban which was worn by Sikhs in battle....

 or full name Chand Tora Dumalla is the style of turban generally worn by Sikhs in battle. The "Chand Tora" is a metal symbol consisting of a crescent sword and a double edged sword, it is held in place at the front of the turban by a woven chainmail cord tied in a pattern within the turban to protect the head from slashing weapons. The Chand actually is a symbol of Shiva who is always shown with a crescent in his hair. Shiva is considered a very powerful mythological figure. So the crescent (Chand) being in the Singh's Dumalla along with a Khanda and Kirpan shows that Singh's are as mighty, if not more, than Shiva. In the past every Sikh wore this type of turban, known as a Dumalla, even still to this day many Sikhs in the Punjab still wear the Chand Tora Dumalla, known as the Nihang
Nihang
Nihang is an armed Sikh order. Early Sikh military history is dominated by the Akali Nihang military order, particularly for many famous military victories won while often heavily outnumbered. The Akali Nihang have historically been held in great affection and respect by Sikhs due the pivotal role...

s.

Gatka and Shastar Vidiya


Gatka ({{lang-pa|ਗਤਕਾ}} {{lang|pa-Latn|gatkā}}) is a weapon-based martial art created by the Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s. Gatka is a complete martial system which uses spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal portions to help one fully competent in defending themselves and others. The term Gatka derives from the Punjabi words gat and ka. Gat means grace, liberation, and respect in one's own power, while ka means someone who belongs or is part of a group. Gatka would therefore translate as "one whose freedom belongs to grace".
Shastar Vidiya is known as the Sikh art of war or the science of weapons. This form of martial art was among the deadliest martial arts in history, one warrior trained to kill two-hundred and fifty men. This art was practiced long before Sikhism but it was the Sikhs who became masters of the technique and made it more deadly. It was so feared that when the British ruled India they banned it during the 1800s.

There are many documented accounts of this brutal and deadly Sikh martial art used in battle. Many Persian, Afghan and a traveler to Punjab India in 1705 documented the Battle of Chamkaur
Battle of Chamkaur
The Battle Of Chamkaur or also known as Battle Of Chamkaur Sahib was a battle fought between the Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh against the Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in Zafarnamah...

. Where 48 Sikhs, including Guru Gobind Singh and his two eldest sons, took on and pushed back an army of 62,000 Mughals. There are over a hundred wars and battles documenting Sikhs fighting against vast numbers. Even during world war 1 and 2, where upto 25% of the British soldiers were Sikh and the Sikhs were awarded over 24 battle honours, including one very long task which took almost a week for the British Army to push back the German Army, however on Friday 1916, the Sikh Regiment was sent in and the Sikhs pushed back the German Invaders in a night.
Another account included Sikhs out of ammunition during war, then taking out their Kirpan
Kirpan
The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

s and advancing towards the enemy forces.

Gatka and Shastar Vidiya both involve using weapons of all kinds and also include unarmed combat. The correct use of melee weapons is central to gatka with techniques depending on the nature of the weapon. The following lists a few examples of the weapons used.
  • Talwar
    Talwar
    The talwar is a type of curved sword or sabre from India and modern-day Pakistan...

    : curved one-sided sword
  • Kirpan
    Kirpan
    The kirpan is a ceremonial sword or dagger carried by orthodox Sikhs. It is a religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs must wear a kirpan at all times....

    : sword or dagger worn by baptised Sikhs at all times
  • Lathi
    Lathi
    Lathi means stick and also refers to an Indian martial art based on cane-fighting. The word is used in Hindi, Bengali and various other Indian languages. The lathi typically measures 6 to and may be tipped with metal. It commonly used as a crowd control device by the Indian Police and other South...

    : stick of bamboo
    Bamboo
    Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

     from one to three meters in length, used for training
  • Flexible weapons, such as maces, whips and chains
  • Kukri
    Kukri
    The kukri is a curved Nepalese Knife, similar to the machete, used as both a tool and as a weapon...

    : bent sword which broadens towards the point
  • Bow and arrow, either traditional India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    n steel recurve bows or true composite bows
    Composite bow
    A composite bow is a bow made from horn, wood, and sinew laminated together. The horn is on the belly, facing the archer, and sinew on the back of a wooden core. Sinew and horn will store more energy than wood for the same length of bow...

     made of wood, horn and sinew. Fletched reed arrows with tanged steel points are typically used.
  • Barcha: spear
  • Bothati: lance used from horseback
  • Nagni barcha: javelin
  • Khanda
    Khanda (sword)
    The blade is usually broad and quite heavy and broadens from the hilt to the tip. The blade transforms into tip rather abruptly. The hilt has a small metal spike coming out in the opposite direction typical of the khanda...

    : double-edge sword
  • Bagh nakh: "leopard claw", a spiked weapon worn on the hand
  • Chakram
    Chakram
    The chakram , sometimes called a war quoit, is a throwing weapon from India. Its shape is of a flat metal hoop with a sharp outer edge from in diameter...

    : circular edged weapon that can be thrown or used in-close
  • Kataar: dagger able to pierce armour, spelled katara in Sanskrit
  • Kara
    Kara
    -Given name:* Cara , an alternative spelling for Kara* Kara Kennedy Allen, professional board member and a television producer* Kara Mahmud Bushati, a noble of the Bushati family* Kara Edwards, an American voice actress...

    : a steel or iron bracelet worn by baptized Sikhs at all times, can be used as knuckle-dusters
  • Gurj: a flanged or spiked mace made out of steel

Sikh people


{{Main|Sikh}}
{{See|Sikhism by country}}

Worldwide, there are 25.8 million Sikhs, which make up only 0.39% of the worlds population. Approximately 75% of Sikhs live in the Punjab, where they constitute about 60% of the state's population. Even though there are a large number of Sikhs in the world, certain countries have not recognised Sikhi as a major religion{{Who|date=September 2011}}. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring states, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India. However, Sikhs only make up about 2% of the Indian population.

Sikh Migration beginning from the 19th century led to the creation of significant communities in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 (predominantly in Brampton
Brampton, Ontario
Brampton is the third-largest city in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada and the seat of Peel Region. As of the 2006 census, Brampton's population stood at 433,806, making it the 11th largest city in Canada. It is also one of Canada's fastest growing municipalities, with an average...

, along with Malton
Malton, Ontario
Malton is a neighbourhood in the northeastern part of the city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, located to the northwest of Toronto. The neighbourhood has a population of approximately 36,400 as of 2002....

 in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Abbotsford
Abbotsford, British Columbia
Abbotsford is a Canadian city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to Greater Vancouver. It is the fifth largest municipality in British Columbia, home to 123,864 people . Its Census Metropolitan Area, which includes the District of Mission, is the 23rd largest in Canada,...

, Mission
Mission, British Columbia
Mission, the core of which was formerly known as Mission City, is a district municipality in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is situated on the north bank of the Fraser River overlooking the City of Abbotsford and with that city is part of the Central Fraser Valley. Mission is the...

, Lower Mainland
Lower Mainland
The Lower Mainland is a name commonly applied to the region surrounding and including Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As of 2007, 2,524,113 people live in the region; sixteen of the province's thirty most populous municipalities are located there.While the term Lower Mainland has been...

, Surrey
Surrey, British Columbia
Surrey is a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, the governing body of the Greater Vancouver Regional District...

 in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

), East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 as well as Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. These communities developed as Sikhs migrated out of Punjab to fill in gaps in imperial labour markets. In the early twentieth century a significant community began to take shape on the west coast of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Smaller populations of Sikhs are found in within many countries in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, Malaysia, Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and many other countries.

Since 1968, thousands of non-Punjabis have taken up the Sikh belief and lifestyle primarily in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Far East and Australia. These first and second generation Sikhs are of various ethnic backgrounds and include Caucasians, Blacks, and Chinese.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}}

Prohibitions in Sikhi


religious prohibitions in Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

.
  1. Cutting hair: Cutting hair is strictly forbidden in Sikhism. Sikhs are required to keep unshorn hair. The hair is covered with a turban known as a Dumalla
    Dumalla
    The Dumalla or full name Chand Tora Dumalla is the style of turban generally worn by Nihang Khalsa Sikhs. This is a warrior style turban which was worn by Sikhs in battle....

    .
  2. Intoxication: Consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other intoxicants is not allowed. Intoxicants are strictly forbidden for a Sikh. However Sikhs do consume cannabis, Sukha ( ਸੁੱਖਾ ਪ੍ਰਰਸਾਦ ), "peace-giver", is the term Sikhs use to refer to it.
  3. Adultery: In Sikhism, the spouses must be physically faithful to one another.
  4. Blind spirituality: Superstitions and rituals should not be observed or followed, including pilgrimages, fasting
    Fasting
    Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

     and ritual purification
    Ritual purification
    Ritual purification is a feature of many religions. The aim of these rituals is to remove specifically defined uncleanliness prior to a particular type of activity, and especially prior to the worship of a deity...

    ; circumcision
    Circumcision
    Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

    ; idols & grave
    Grave (burial)
    A grave is a location where a dead body is buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemeteries....

      worship; compulsory wearing of the veil
    Veil
    A veil is an article of clothing, worn almost exclusively by women, that is intended to cover some part of the head or face.One view is that as a religious item, it is intended to show honor to an object or space...

     for women; etc.
  5. Material obsession: Obsession with material wealth is not encouraged in Sikhism.
  6. Sacrifice of creatures: The practice of sati
    Sati (practice)
    For other uses, see Sati .Satī was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman either voluntarily or by use of force and coercion would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre...

     (widows throwing themselves on the funeral
    Funeral
    A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember the dead, from interment itself, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor...

     pyre
    Pyre
    A pyre , also known as a funeral pyre, is a structure, usually made of wood, for burning a body as part of a funeral rite...

     of their husbands), ritual animal sacrifice
    Animal sacrifice
    Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. It is practised by many religions as a means of appeasing a god or gods or changing the course of nature...

     to celebrate holy occasions, etc. are forbidden.
  7. Non-family-oriented living: A Sikh is encouraged NOT to live as a recluse
    Recluse
    A recluse is a person who lives in voluntary seclusion from the public and society, often close to nature. The word is from the Latin recludere, which means "shut up" or "sequester." There are many potential reasons for becoming a recluse: a personal philosophy that rejects consumer society; a...

    , beggar, yogi
    Yogi
    A Yogi is a practitioner of Yoga. The word is also used to refer to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of South Asian Religions including Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.-Etymology:...

    , monastic
    Monasticism
    Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

     (monk
    Monk
    A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

    /nun
    Nun
    A nun is a woman who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent...

    ) or celibate
    Celibacy
    Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

    . Sikhs are to live as saint-soldiers.
  8. Worthless talk: Bragging, lying
    Lying
    Lying may refer to:* Lie — a deliberate untruth.* Lying a 2011 book by neuroscientist Sam Harris* Lying — a horizontal position* Lying — a 2006 film* Lying — a song by Australian band, Amy Meredith...

    , slander, "back-stabbing", etc. are not permitted. The Guru Granth Sahib
    Guru Granth Sahib
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

     tells the Sikh, "Your mouth has not stopped slandering and gossiping about others. Your service is useless and fruitless."
  9. Priestly class: Sikhism does not have priests, they were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh
    Guru Gobind Singh
    Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage of ten Sikh gurus. Born in Patna, Bihar in India, he was also a warrior, poet and philosopher. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as the leader of Sikhs at a young age of nine...

     (the 10th Guru of Sikhism). The only position he left was a Granthi
    Granthi
    Granthi is any person of either gender, who performs the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib at congregational occasions, however this task can be performed by any individual who is part of the congregation...

     to look after the Guru Granth Sahib
    Guru Granth Sahib
    Sri Guru Granth Sahib , or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is the final and eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708...

    , any Sikh is free to become Granthi
    Granthi
    Granthi is any person of either gender, who performs the reading of the Guru Granth Sahib at congregational occasions, however this task can be performed by any individual who is part of the congregation...

     or read from the Guru Granth Sahib.
  10. Eating meat killed in a ritualistic manner (Kutha meat
    Kutha meat
    Kutha meat is defined as "meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly as prescribed by Islamic law.". It has been more broadly defined as "killing an animal with a prayer" or "a sacrifice to God" or meat prepared through "unnecessary ritualism"....

    ):
    Sikhs are strictly prohibited from eating meat killed in a ritualistic manner (such as halal
    Halal
    Halal is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law...

     or kosher
    Kashrut
    Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

    , known as Kutha meat
    Kutha meat
    Kutha meat is defined as "meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly as prescribed by Islamic law.". It has been more broadly defined as "killing an animal with a prayer" or "a sacrifice to God" or meat prepared through "unnecessary ritualism"....

     which the animal is killed slowly by ritually slicing the throat and letting it bleed while praying. ), or any meat where langar is served. The meat eaten by Sikhs is known as Jhatka
    Jhatka
    Jhatka or Chatka meat is meat from an animal which has been killed by a single strike of a sword or axe to sever the head, as opposed to Jewish slaughter or Islamic slaughter in which the animal is killed by ritually slicing the throat.-Jhatka meat and Sikhs:Jhatka for Sikhs is the...

     meat, severing the head of an animal with a single stroke of any weapon, with the underlying intention of killing the animal whilst causing it minimal suffering. Other religions like Islam do not eat pork, Hindus do not eat beef and Jews may not eat certain meats on certain days and of course other religions have their own restrictions. Sikhs have no such instructions, if one thinks he needs to eat meat it does not matter which meat it is or which day it is. Of course one should be careful not eat foods harmful to one's self.
  11. Having premarital or extramarital sexual relations

See also


{{Portal|Sikhism}}
{{Wikipedia-Books}}
  • Interfaith dialog
    Interfaith dialog
    The term interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels...

  • Outline of Sikhism

Further reading

  • Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2007), Sikh Twareekh, publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 2007.
  • Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2010), Sikh History (in 10 volumes), publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 2010–11
  • Kaur, Surjit, Amongst the Sikhs: Reaching for the Stars, New Delhi, Roli Books, 2003 ISBN 81-7436-267-3
  • Khalsa, Guru Fatha Singh, Five Paragons of Peace: Magic and Magnificence in the Guru's Way, Toronto, Monkey Minds Press, 2010, ISBN 978-9682658-1-9, gurufathasingh.com
  • Khalsa, Shanti Kaur, The History of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, Sikh Dharma, Espanola, NM, 1995 ISBN 0-9639847-4-8
  • Takhar, Opinderjit Kaur, Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups Among Sikhs, Ashgate Publishing Company, Burlington, VT, 2005 ISBN 0-7546-5202-5
  • Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (1997), The Sikh Reference Book, publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 1997.
  • Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2005), Dictionary of Sikh Philosophy, publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 2005.

External links


{{External links|date=November 2010}}
{{Sister project links}}


{{Sikhism}}
{{Religion topics}}
{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2010}}