Sikhism was evolved in the 15th century in the Punjab province of India. A monotheistic religion, with the concept of one God “IkOnkar”, propagates the fundamentals of life and their importance for individuals as a part of the society. These fundamentals of Sikhism include faith, meditation, worship, unity, equality, humanity, honesty, purity, selfless service, justice and prosperity. Sikhism split out from Hinduism as its predecessors opposed the caste system prevalent in Hinduism.
Founder of Sikhism: Guru Nanak DevJi, was the first guru of the Sikhs, who through his preaching influenced and guided the people out from the fetters of superstitions, ignorance and malpractices. He intended to spread the message of God and motivate people to live a simple life free of fear, dishonesty, and inequality; and help them embrace the virtues of love, unity, compassion, hard work, service and loyalty. His main concern was the spiritual welfare of the masses. He believed that God was one and all human beings are his children; therefore religion belonged to all without the discrimination of caste, creed, sex or cult.
To spread this message amongst the masses and to curb religious inequalities prevalent in the society, he introduced a new belief and a new religion called Sikhism. He believed that this belief when imbibed by a person would free him from all evil practices and materialistic enticements and help him achieve salvation.
After Guru Nanak DevJi, came nine other Sikh gurus who enlightened the followers of Sikhism with their teachings and led them to the path of unification with the Almighty and guided them towards a simple, courageous, compassionate and harmonious life as taught by their first Guru. The preaching of all the Gurus of Sikh belief were compiled into a sacred doctrine called the Guru Granth Sahib Ji by Guru Govind Singh Ji, the tenth guru of the Sikhs. This holy doctrine is now acknowledged as the eleventh Guru of the Sikh faith.
After this brief introduction of the Sikh belief and its advent, let us know about its principles.The tenets of the Sikh faith circumference around its core fundamentals as mentioned above. Sikhism is based on three major principles that encompass the core values of the faith. These are:
- NaamJapna:It means that one must worship and meditate reciting the name of God throughout the day.
- Dharm Di KirtKarna:This means that every person should work hard with honesty and dedication to earn his living.
- Wand Chhakna:It intends that every person should share his wealth and whatever he/she has with the poor and the needy.
Sikh Beleifs:The “mool mantra” or the key holy chants of Sikhism which says, “IkOnkarSatnam Karta PurakhNirbhaoNirvair Akal Murat AjuniSaibhangGur Prasad” gives a brief introduction of theSikh beliefs and vision of its gurus.
Top 10 Beliefs of Sikhism:Every faith holds certain beliefs that speak about the vision and teachings of the preachers of that faith. The tenets of Sikhism include:
- It challenges the existence of an anthropomorphic God and idol worship, and emphasizes on the existence of one supreme power that is omnipresent.
- Sikhism believes in the power of prayers and meditation for unification with God. It believes that people should remember God throughout the day by reciting the five holy prayers as mentioned in the holy doctrine.
- Sikhism believes in the equality of all human beings and defies any discrimination on the bases of gender, sex, class, race or sect.
- Sikhism stresses upon absorbing the three main principles including, Nam Japan, Kirt Karan and Wand Chhakna, in one daily life.
- Sikhism defies any immoral act like pride, lust, greed, anger and attachment and propagates a life devoted in the praise, worship and meditation of the supreme power.
- Baptism or “AmritChhakna” is a sacred and an integral part of Sikhism after which a Sikh leads a life as per the core fundamentals and principles of the faith.
- Sikhism believes in following the code of conduct as mentioned in the holy doctrine which includes daily worship, truthfulness, kindness, satisfaction and compassion.
- As per Sikhism its followermust wear the five articles of Sikh faith including; uncut hair, a wooden comb, a steel bracelet, a small sacred dagger and shorts.
- Sikhism believes in the four commandments including:
- Abstain from all kinds of Intoxication.
- Abstain cuttinghair
- Abstain sacrificial meat
- Abstain from adultery
- Sikhism promotes group worship, community feasting and serving as a noble deed.