Harjit Kaur Arora
Thank you very much for inviting me to your class to talk about the Sikh Religion. I will be covering the basic tenets of the religion and the ethics and will conclude by reflecting on the status of women in the Sikh religion.
A Sikh is a disciple of the Holy Scripture “Guru Granth Sahib”, seeking divine grace through Truth (divine) and Justice (divine will).
Basic Teachings -- Among the major teachings of Sikhism are:
1. Concept of God: to have faith in One God. The name is Truth, it is absolute, one supreme Being, Eternal, all pervading, the Creator, is without fear, without hate, envy or enmity, not revengeful, self-existent, not incarnated, the Being beyond time, very kind and gracious. He is attained through the grace of the Guru.
The same Divine light (Jot) permeates the entire universe – in all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, color, race, sex, religion or nationality. It is summed up in the following line:
Ik Pitta Ik~us Ke Hum Barak (SGGS. Pp. )
2. The ultimate aim of a Sikh is to merge one’s soul into the Divine Jot (God) forever through recitation of God’s name and singing of His glories. A Sikh should not seek salvation or an entry into heaven or attainment of worldly riches.
3. A Sikh rejects all fasts, rites and rituals, yoga, mortification of body, self torture, penances and renunciation. It rejects any self inflicted pain for attainment of God.
4. Will of God – A Sikh believes that all that happens is in the Will of God. God being the being the benefactor of all mankind, knows and does all that is in the best interests of His creation.
5. To earn an Honest living – A Sikh is required to earn living according to the principles of justice and truth.
6. Duswandh (Tithe) -- A Sikh should share his/her earnings with the needy; not as a charity, but in gratitude to God’s blessing one self.
7. A Sikh is instructed to control 5 Thieves – (Kaam (Lust), Karodh (Wrath), Lobh (Greed), Moh (Attachment), A~haan~kaar (Ego or Pride). Instead, a Sikh should nurture the characteristics of a Saint-Soldier: courage and dignity blended with humility and compassion, integrity of character, discipline, truth, justice, righteousness, and freedom for all.
The Sikh Gurus
Succession Order Name of Guru Sahib Life time period Period of Reign
1 Guru Nanak Dev 1469-1539 1469-1539
2 Guru Angad Dev 1504-1552 1539-1552
3 Guru Amar Dass 1479-1574 1552-1574
4 Guru Ram Dass 1534-1581 1574-1581
5 Guru Arjan Dev 1563-1606 1581-1606
6 Guru Hargobind 1595-1644 1606-1644
7 Guru Har Rai 1630-1661 1644-1661
8 Guru Har Krishan 1656-1664 1661-1664
9 Guru Tegh Bahadur 1621-1675 1664-1675
10 Guru Gobind Singh 1666-1708 1675-1708
11 Guru Granth, the Sabad Guru 1708-all time