Sikhism is the youngest of the world fifth great monotheistic religions. In 1801, the Sikh state was founded in Northern India by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The word sikh' the Punjabi language means disciple' or learner'. Sikhs are the disciple of god who follow the writings and teachings of the ten Sikh guju's (teacher). The wisdom of these teachings in SRI GUJU GRANTH SHAIB is practical and Universal in their appeal to all mankind. Sikhism was founded by Shri Guju Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1538) who was born in the Punjab area of what now is Pakistan. Guru Nanak began his mission after a mysterious three-day disappearance at the river bein near Sultanpur. When he re-emerged, he announced that god was beyond outward religious distinctions and that what matter was to everyone to be a truly devout follower of his or her own faith. He is responsible for the saying "There is no Hindu; there is no Muslim" which has become one of the pillars of Sikhism. (Hopfe-189) He spent the rest of his life teaching, writing hymns which his muslim companion set to music, and traveling as far as Srilanka, Baghdad and Mecca to discuss religion with Muslims and Hindus. He preached a message of love and understanding and criticized the blind rituals of the Hindus and Muslims. (Borak 53-55) Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru was Guru Gobing Singh who died in 1708. During his lifetime Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsaorder, soldier saints. The Khalsa uphold the highest Sikh virtues of commitment, dedication and a social conscious. The Khalsa are men and women who have undergone the Sikh baptism ceremony and who strictly follow the Sikh code of conduct and convention. Khalsa Sikhs show their commitment by wearing five religious symbols, known as the "Five Ks": 1.KESH, or uncut hair;
2.KANGA, or comb;
3.KACCHA, a short baggy undergarment;
4.KARA, a steel bangle;
5.KIRPAN, a short sword. ("The...
Cited: Borak, Lucius, CFS. Religions of the East. Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, 1988
Hopfe, Lewis M. Religions of the World. New York: Macmillan Publishing, Co., 1991
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