The Info List - Sikhism

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SIKHISM (/ˈsikᵻzəm/ ), or SIKHI (Punjabi : ਸਿੱਖੀ _Sikkhī_, pronounced , from _Sikh_, meaning a "disciple", or a "learner"), is a monotheistic/panentheistic religion that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent about the end of the 15th century. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions. The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib , include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, unity of all humankind, engaging in selfless service , striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all , and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life.

Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak , the first Guru, and the ten successive Sikh gurus . Guru Nanak established Kartarpur (Creator's town) around 1520 and gathered the original core of the Sikh Panth (community) there. After the death of the tenth Guru , Guru Gobind Singh , the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib , became the literal embodiment of the eternal, impersonal Guru , where the scripture's word serves as the spiritual guide for Sikhs. An Indian religion, Sikhism rejects claims that any particular religious tradition has a monopoly on Absolute Truth.

Sikhism emphasizes simran (meditation on the words of the Guru Granth Sahib), that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo (repeat God's name) as a means to feel God's presence. It teaches followers to avoid the " Five Thieves " (lust, rage, greed, attachment and conceit). Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active, creative, and practical life" of "truthfulness, fidelity, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, and that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, and carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind , the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal (Miri) and spiritual (Piri) realms to be mutually coexistent.

Sikhism is a relatively recent religion, that evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur , after they refused to convert to Islam, were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers. The persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa , as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier . Sikhism has 25-28 million adherents worldwide and is the ninth-largest religion in the world .


* 1 Sikh terminology

* 2 Philosophy and teachings

* 2.1 Concept of God * 2.2 Worldly illusion * 2.3 Timeless truth * 2.4 Liberation * 2.5 Power and meditation ( Shakti and Bhakti) * 2.6 Singing and music * 2.7 Remembrance of the divine name * 2.8 Service and action * 2.9 Justice and equality * 2.10 Ten gurus and authority

* 3 Scripture

* 3.1 Adi Granth

* 3.2 Guru Granth Sahib

* 3.2.1 Compilation * 3.2.2 Language and script * 3.2.3 Teachings * 3.2.4 As Guru * 3.2.5 Relation to Hinduism and Islam

* 3.3 Dasam Granth * 3.4 Janamsakhis

* 4 Observances

* 4.1 Sikh festivals/events * 4.2 Ceremonies and customs * 4.3 Baptism and the Khalsa

* 5 History

* 5.1 Growth of Sikhism

* 5.2 Political advancement

* 5.2.1 Sikh confederacy and the rise of the Khalsa * 5.2.2 Partition

* 5.3 Historical influences

* 6 Sikh people

* 6.1 Sikh castes

* 7 Sikh diaspora * 8 Prohibitions in Sikhism * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links


The majority of Sikh scriptures were originally written in Gurmukhī alphabet , a script standardised by Guru Angad out of Laṇḍā scripts used in North India . Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs, which means students or disciples of the Guru. The anglicized word 'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb _Sikhi_, with roots in _Sikhana_ (to learn), and _Sikhi_ connotes the "temporal path of learning".

Sikhism is a monistic religion and states that there is one supreme entity holding control of the entire universe. This entity is referred to as Ik Onkar .


Main article: Sikh philosophy Guru Nanak was the founder of the religion of Sikhism and the first of the eleven Sikh Gurus, the eleventh being the living Guru, Guru Granth Sahib A Sikh is defined in Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) as any person who faithfully believes in:

one Immortal Being; the ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh Sahib; the Guru Granth Sahib; the utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus; the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru; and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion.

The basis of Sikhism lies in the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The essence of Sikh teaching is summated by Guru Nanak's words: "Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living".

Sikhism is a monistic form of monotheistic (panentheistic ) religion. In Sikhism, the concept of "God" is _Vāhigurū _—is shapeless , timeless , and invisible (i.e., unable to be seen with the physical eye): _niraṅkār_, _akaal_, 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 with power over everything, and is signified by the term _Ik Onkar _. Sikhs believe that before creation, all that existed was "God" and "God's" _hukam _ (will or order). The Harimandir Sahib , known popularly as the Golden Temple, is a sacred shrine for Sikhs.


Main article: Ik Onkar

God in Sikhism is known as Ik Onkar, the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit (which is taken to mean god). This spirit has no gender in Sikhism, though translations may present it as masculine. It is also _Akaal Purkh_ (beyond time and space) and _Nirankar_ (without form). In addition, Nanak wrote that there are many worlds on which it has created life.

Nanak further states that the understanding of _Akaal_ is beyond human beings, but at the same time not wholly unknowable. Akaal is omnipresent (_sarav viāpak _) 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 of heavenly life. Guru Nanak emphasized the revelation through meditation, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between god and human beings.

The Mul Mantar , the opening line of the Guru Granth Sahib and each subsequent raga , mentions Ik Oankar:

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥

Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) karatā purakh(u) nirabha'u niravair(u) akāl(a) mūrat(i) ajūnī saibhan gur(a) prasād(i). "There is but one all-pervading spirit, and truth is its name! It exists in all creation; it does not fear; it does not hate; it is timeless and universal and self-existent, You will come to know it through seeking knowledge and learning!"


_Māyā _—defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality"—is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions which give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain which distract the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference to the unreality of the world, but of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego , anger , greed , attachment , and lust —known as the _ Five Thieves _—are believed to be particularly distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is currently in a state of _ Kali Yuga _ (Age of Darkness) because the world is led astray by the love of and attachment to Maya. The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Thieves ('Pānj Chor'), is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion.


An Akali-Nihung Sikh Warrior at Harmandir Sahib , also called the Golden Temple

According to Guru Nanak the supreme purpose of human life is to reconnect with Akal (The Timeless One), however, egotism is the biggest barrier in doing this. Using the Guru's teaching remembrance of _nām _ (the divine Word or the Name of the Lord) leads to the end of egotism. Guru Nanak designated the word 'guru' (meaning _teacher_) to mean the voice of "the spirit": the source of knowledge and the guide to salvation. As Ik Onkar is universally immanent , _guru_ is indistinguishable from "Akal" and are one and the same. One connects 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 of the Word that is the true _guru_. The human body is just a means to achieve the reunion with Truth. 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.


Guru Nanak's teachings are founded not on a final destination of heaven or hell but on a spiritual union with the Akal which results in salvation or _ Jivanmukta _ (liberation whilst alive), a concept also found in Hinduism. Guru Gobind Singh makes it clear that human birth is obtained with great fortune, therefore one needs to be able to make the most of this life. Sikhs believe in reincarnation and karma concepts found in Hinduism and Buddhism. However, in Sikhism both karma and liberation "is modified by the concept of God's grace" (_nadar, mehar, kirpa, karam_ etc.). Guru Nanak states "The body takes birth because of karma, but salvation is attained through grace". To get closer to God: Sikhs avoid the evils of _Maya_, keep the everlasting truth in mind, practice _Shabad Kirtan _, meditate on _Naam _, and serve humanity. Sikhs believe that being in the company of the _ Satsang _ or _Sadh Sangat _ is one of the key ways to achieve liberation from the cycles of reincarnation.


Sikhism was influenced by Bhakti movement, but it was not simply an extension of the Bhakti movement. Sikhism, for instance, disagreed with some views of Bhakti saints Kabir and Ravidas.

Guru Nanak , the first Sikh Guru and the founder of Sikhism, was a Bhakti saint. He taught, states Jon Mayled, that the most important form of worship is Bhakti. Guru Arjan , in his _Sukhmani Sahib_, recommended the true religion is one of loving devotion to God. The Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib includes suggestions on how a Sikh should perform constant Bhakti. Some scholars call Sikhism a Bhakti sect of Indian traditions, adding that it emphasizes "nirguni Bhakti", that is loving devotion to a divine without qualities or physical form. However, Sikhism also accepts _saguni_ concept, that is a divine with qualities and form. While Western scholarship generally places Sikhism as arising primarily within a Hindu Bhakti movement milieu while recognizing some Sufi Islamic influences, Indian Sikh scholars disagree and state that Sikhism transcended the environment it emerged from.

Some Sikh sects outside the Punjab-region of India, such as those found in Maharashtra and Bihar , practice Aarti with lamps during bhakti in a Sikh Gurdwara . But, most Sikh Gurdwaras forbid the ceremonial use of lamps (aarti) during their bhakti practices.

While emphasizing Bhakti, the Sikh Gurus also taught that the spiritual life and secular householder life are intertwined. In Sikh worldview, the everyday world is part of the Infinite Reality, increased spiritual awareness leads to increased and vibrant participation in the everyday world. Guru Nanak, states Sonali Marwaha, described living an "active, creative, and practical life" of "truthfulness, fidelity, self-control and purity" as being higher than the metaphysical truth.

The 6th Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind , after Guru Arjan martyrdom and faced with oppression by the Islamic Mughal Empire , affirmed the philosophy that the political/temporal (Miri) and spiritual (Piri) realms are mutually coexistent. According to the 9th Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur , the ideal Sikh should have both Shakti (power that resides in the temporal), and Bhakti (spiritual meditative qualities). This was developed into the concept of the Saint Soldier by the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh .

The concept of man as elaborated by Guru Nanak , states Arvind-pal Singh Mandair, refines and negates the "monotheistic concept of self/God", and "monotheism becomes almost redundant in the movement and crossings of love". The goal of man, taught the Sikh Gurus, is to end all dualities of "self and other, I and not-I", attain the "attendant balance of separation-fusion, self-other, action-inaction, attachment-detachment, in the course of daily life".


Sikhs refer to the hymns of the Gurus as Gurbani (The Guru's word). Shabad Kirtan is the singing of Gurbani. The entire verses of Guru Granth Sahib are written in a form of poetry and rhyme to be recited in thirty one Ragas of the Classical Indian Music as specified. However, the exponents of these are rarely to be found amongst the Sikhs who are conversant with all the Ragas in the Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak started the Shabad Kirtan tradition and taught that listening to kirtan is a powerful way to achieve tranquility while meditating; Singing of the glories of the Supreme Timeless One (God) with devotion is the most effective way to come in communion with the Supreme Timeless One. The three morning prayers for Sikhs consist of Japji Sahib , Jaap Sahib and Tav-Prasad Savaiye . Baptized Sikhs - Amritdharis, rise early and meditate and then recite all the Five Banis of Nitnem before breakfast.


A key practice by Sikhs is remembrance of the Divine Name (Naam – the Name of the Lord). This contemplation is done through _Nām Japna _ (repetition of the divine name) or _Naam Simran _ (remembrance of the divine Name through recitation). The verbal repetition of the name of God or a sacred syllable has been an ancient established practice in religious traditions in India, however, Sikhism developed _Naam-simran_ as an important Bhakti practice. Guru Nanak's ideal is the total exposure of one's being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma or the "Divine Order". Nanak described the result of the disciplined application of _nām simraṇ_ as a "growing towards and into God" through a gradual process of five stages. The last of these is _sach khaṇḍ _ (_The Realm of Truth_)—the final union of the spirit with God.


The Sikh Gurus taught that by constantly remembering the divine name (_nam simaran_) and through selfless service, or _sēvā_, the devotee overcomes egoism (_ Haumai _). This, it states, is the primary root of five evil impulses and the cycle of rebirth .

Service in Sikhism takes three forms: "Tan" - physical service; "Man" - mental service (such as studying to help others); and "Dhan" - material service. Sikhism stresses _kirat karō _: that is "honest work". Sikh teachings also stress the concept of sharing, or _vaṇḍ chakkō _, giving to the needy for the benefit of the community.


Sikhism regards "Justice" and "Restorative Justice" and "divine justice" as trumping any subjective codes of moral order. The word in Punjabi used to depict this is "Niau" which means justice. The word "dharam " (righteousness) is also used to convey justice "in the sense of the moral order". "An attack on dharam is an attack on justice, on righteousness, and on the moral order generally". According to the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh "when all efforts to restore peace prove useless and no words avail, lawful is the flash of steel, it is right to draw the sword".

Men and women are equal in Sikhism and share the same rights. In contrast, while other faiths have been arguing in recent times on female priest ordination, women have been leading prayers at Sikh temples since the founding of Sikhism.


Main article: Sikh gurus A rare Tanjore -style painting from the late 19th century depicting the ten Sikh Gurus with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana .

The term guru comes from the Sanskrit _gurū_, meaning teacher, guide, or mentor. The traditions and philosophy of Sikhism were established by ten 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 was the first guru and appointed a disciple as successor. Guru Gobind Singh was the final guru in human form. Before his death, Guru Gobind Singh decreed in 1708, that the Gurū Granth Sāhib would be the final and perpetual guru of the Sikhs.

Guru Nanak stated that his Guru is God who is the same from the beginning of time to the end of time. Nanak claimed to be God's mouthpiece, God's slave and servant and even God's dog, but maintained that he was only a guide and teacher, was neither a reincarnation of God nor in any way related to God. Nanak stated that the human Guru is mortal and not divine, who is to be respected and loved but not worshipped. When Guru, or Satguru (The true guru) is used in _Gurbani_ it is often referring to the internal soul rather than a living Guru.

Guru Angad succeeded Guru Nanak. Later, an important phase in the development of Sikhism 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 ) system of clerical supervision.

Guru Amar Das 's successor and son-in-law Guru Ram Das founded the city of Amritsar , which is home of the Harimandir Sahib and regarded widely as the holiest city for all Sikhs. Guru Arjan was captured by Mughal 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 interior of the Akal Takht

The Sikh gurus established a mechanism which allowed the Sikh religion to react as a community to changing circumstances. The sixth guru, Guru Hargobind , was responsible for the creation of the concept of Akal Takht (_throne of the timeless one_), which serves as the supreme decision-making centre of Sikhism and sits opposite the Harmandir Sahib . The _Sarbat Ḵẖālsā _ (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 _ (literally, _guru's intention_) is an order passed by the 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 _ (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.


Approximate Life Spans and Guruship Spans of the 10 Sikh gurus

The word Guru in Sikhism also refers to _ Akal Purkh_ (God), and God and Guru are often synonymous in _ Gurbani _ ( Sikh writings). Sikhism does not subscribe to the theory of incarnation or the concept of prophethood, states Singha, but "it has a pivotal concept of Guru; He is not an incarnation of God, not even a prophet; He is an illumined soul."


There is one primary scripture for the Sikhs: the Gurū Granth Sāhib. It is sometimes synonymously referred to as the Ādi Granth. Chronologically, however, the Ādi Granth – literally, _The First Volume_, refers to the version of the scripture created by Guru Arjan in 1604. The Gurū Granth Sāhib is the final expanded version of the scripture compiled by Guru Gobind Singh . While the Guru Granth Sahib is an unquestioned scripture in Sikhism, another important religious text, the Dasam Granth , does not enjoy universal consensus, and is considered a secondary scripture by many Sikhs.


Main article: Ādi Granth

The Ādi Granth was compiled primarily by Bhai Gurdas under the supervision of Guru Arjan between the years 1603 and 1604. It is written in the Gurmukhī script, which is a descendant of the Laṇḍā script used in the Punjab at that time. The Gurmukhī script was standardised by Guru Angad, the second guru of the Sikhs, for use in the Sikh scriptures and is thought to have been influenced by the Śāradā and Devanāgarī scripts. An authoritative scripture was created to protect the integrity of hymns and teachings of the Sikh gurus, and thirteen Hindu and two Muslim bhagats of the Bhakti movement sant tradition in medieval India. The thirteen Hindu bhagats whose teachings were entered into the text included Ramananda , Namdev , Pipa , Ravidas , Beni , Bhikhan , Dhanna , Jaidev , Parmanand , Sadhana , Sain , Sur , Trilochan , while the two Muslim bhagats were Kabir and Sufi saint Farid .


Gurū Granth Sāhib – the primary scripture of Sikhism Main article: Gurū Granth Sāhib

The Guru Grant Sahib is the holy scripture of the Sikhs, and regarded as the living Guru.


The final version of the Gurū Granth Sāhib was compiled by Guru Gobind Singh in 1678. It consists of the original Ādi Granth with the addition of Guru Tegh Bahadur 's hymns. The predominant bulk of Guru Granth Sahib is compositions by seven Sikh Gurus – Guru Nanak, Guru Angad, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. It also contains the traditions and teachings of thirteen Hindu Bhakti movement _sants_ (saints) such as Ramananda , Namdev among others, and two Muslim saints namely Kabir and the Sufi Sheikh Farid .

The text comprises 6,000 _śabads _ (line compositions), which are poetically rendered and set to rhythmic ancient north Indian classical form of music. The bulk of the scripture is classified into thirty one _rāgas _, with each Granth rāga subdivided according to length and author. The hymns in the scripture are arranged primarily by the _rāgas_ in which they are read.

Language And Script

The main language used in the scripture is known as _Sant Bhāṣā _, a language related to both Punjabi and Hindi and used extensively across medieval northern India by proponents of popular devotional religion (bhakti ). The text is printed in Gurumukhi script, believed to have been developed by Guru Angad, but it shares the Indo-European roots found in numerous regional languages of India.


A group of Sikh musicians at the Golden Temple complex

The vision in the Guru Granth Sahib, states Torkel Brekke, is a society based on divine justice without oppression of any kind.

The Granth begins with the _Mūl Mantra _, an iconic verse created by Nanak: Punjabi : ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ ISO 15919 transliteration : _Ika ōaṅkāra sati nāmu karatā purakhu nirabha'u niravairu akāla mūrati ajūnī saibhaṅ gura prasādi._ Simplified transliteration: Ik ōaṅgkār sat nām kartā purkh nirbha'u nirvair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhaṅ gur prasād. Translation: One God Exists, Truth by Name, Creative Power, Without Fear, Without Enmity, Timeless Form, Unborn, Self-Existent, By the Guru's Grace.

As Guru

After the death of the tenth Guru , Guru Gobind Singh , the Guru Granth Sahib became the literal embodiment of the eternal, impersonal Guru , where the scripture's word serves as the spiritual guide for Sikhs: Punjabi : ਸੱਬ ਸਿੱਖਣ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ । Transliteration: Sabb sikkhaṇ kō hukam hai gurū mānyō granth . English: All Sikhs are commanded to take the Granth as Guru.

The Guru Granth Sahib is installed in Sikh _Gurdwara_ (temple); many Sikhs bow or prostrate before it on entering the temple, and just like Rama or Krishna symbols are cared for in some large Hindu temples, the Guru Granth Sahib is installed every morning and put to bed at night in many _Gurdwaras_. The Granth is revered as eternal _gurbānī _ and the spiritual authority.

Myrvold notes that copies of the Guru Granth Sahib are not regarded as material objects, but as living subjects which are alive. Sikhs are well aware that the book itself "cannot come alive in a human sense," they treat it as a person, for which funerary services are performed when the copy is old and damaged:

he fire sacrifice defines the moment when the eternal "spirit" of the Guru separates from the scriptural body and the Guru's temporal manifestation ceases to live.

In India the Guru Granth Sahib is even officially recognized by the Supreme Court of India as a judicial person which can receive donations and own land. Yet, some Sikhs also warn that, without true comprehension of the text, veneration for the text can lead to bibliolatry , with the concrete form of the teachings becoming the object of worship instead of the teachings themselves.

Relation To Hinduism And Islam

The Sikh scripture uses Hindu terminology extensively, with hundreds of references to the Vedas , and the names of gods and goddesses in Hindu bhakti movement traditions, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, Parvati, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Rama, Krishna in order to explain its divine message. It also refers to the spiritual concepts in Hinduism (_Ishvara, Bhagavan, Brahman_) and the concept of God in Islam (_Allah_) to assert that these are just "alternate names for the Almighty One".

While the Guru Granth Sahib acknowledges and respects the God in the Vedas, Puranas and Quran, it does not imply a syncretic bridge between Hinduism and Islam, but emphasizes focusing on Japu (repeating mantra with the name of God), instead of Muslim practices such as circumcision or praying on a carpet, or Hindu rituals such as wearing thread or praying in a river.


The Dasam Granth is a Sikh scripture which contains texts attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. The major narrative in the text is on Chaubis Avtar (24 Avatars of Hindu god Vishnu ), Rudra , Brahma , the Hindu warrior goddess Chandi and a story of Rama in Bachittar Natak . Main article: Dasam Granth

The Dasam Granth is a scripture of Sikhs which contains texts attributed to the Guru Gobind Singh. The _Dasam Granth_ is important to a great number of Sikhs, however it does not have the same authority as the _ Guru Granth Sahib_. Some compositions of the _Dasam Granth_ like Jaap Sahib , ( Amrit Savaiye ), and Benti Chaupai are part of the daily prayers ( Nitnem ) for Sikhs. The _Dasam Granth_ is largely versions of Hindu mythology from the Puranas , secular stories from a variety of sources called _Charitro Pakhyan_ – tales to protect careless men from perils of lust.

Five versions of _Dasam Granth_ exist, and the authenticity of the _Dasam Granth_ is amongst the most debated topics within Sikhism. The text played a significant role in Sikh history, but in modern times parts of the text have seen antipathy and discussion among Sikhs.


Main article: Janamsākhīs

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


The Darbar Sahib of a Gurdwara .

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 gurdwara, touch the ground before the holy scripture with their foreheads. The recitation of the eighteenth century _ardās _ is also customary for attending Sikhs. The ardās recalls past sufferings and glories of the community, invoking divine grace for all humanity.

The gurdwara is also the location for the historic Sikh practice of "Langar " or the community meal. All gurdwaras are open to anyone of any faith for a free meal, always vegetarian. People eat together, and the kitchen is maintained and serviced by Sikh community volunteers.


Guru Amar Das chose three Hindu festivals for celebration by Sikhs: Vaisakhi , Maha Shivaratri (Maghi) and Diwali , wherein he asked Sikhs to assemble and share the festivities as a community.

Vaisakhi is one of the most important festivals of Sikhs, while other significant festivals commemorate the birth, lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs. Historically, these festivals have been based on the Hindu Bikrami calendar . In 2003, the SGPC , the Sikh organisation in charge of upkeep of the historical gurdwaras of Punjab, adopted Nanakshahi calendar. The new calendar is highly controversial among Sikhs and is not universally accepted. Sikh festivals include the following:

* Vaisakhi which includes Parades and Nagar Kirtan occurs on 13 April. Sikhs celebrate it because on this day which fell on 30 March 1699, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, inaugurated the Khalsa , the 11th body of Guru Granth Sahib and leader of Sikhs till eternity.

* Nagar Kirtan involves the processional singing of holy hymns throughout a community. While practiced at any time, it is customary in the month of Visakhi (or Vaisakhi). Traditionally, the procession is led by the saffron-robed Panj Piare (the five beloved of the Guru), who are followed by the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy Sikh scripture, which is placed on a float.

_ Nagar Kirtan crowd listening to Kirtan at Yuba City .

* Diwali has been another important Sikh festival in its history. In recent years, instead of Diwali, the post-2003 calendar released by SGPC has named it the Bandi Chhor divas. Sikhs celebrate Guru Hargobind 's release from the Gwalior Fort , with several innocent Hindu kings who were also imprisoned by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619. This day continues to be commemorated on the same day of Hindu festival of Diwali , with lights, fireworks and festivities. * Hola Mohalla is a tradition started by Guru Gobind Singh. It starts the day after Sikhs celebrate Holi , sometimes referred to as Hola_. Guru Gobind Singh modified Holi with a three-day Hola Mohalla extension festival of martial arts. The extension started the day after the Holi festival in Anandpur Sahib , where Sikh soldiers would train in mock battles, compete in horsemanship, athletics, archery and military exercises. * Gurpurbs 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 Gurpurbs on the Nanakshahi calendar, but it is Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh who have a gurpurb that is widely celebrated in Gurdwaras and Sikh homes. The martyrdoms are also known as a shaheedi Gurpurbs, which mark the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur . Since 2011 the Gurpurb of Guru Har Rai (March 14) has been celebrated as Sikh Vatavaran Diswas ( Sikh Environment Day). Guru Har Rai was the seventh guru, known as a gentle man who cared for animals and the environment. The day is marked by worldwide events, including tree plantings, rubbish clearances and celebrations of the natural world.


Sikh wedding

Guru Nanak taught that rituals, religious ceremonies, or idol worship are of little use and Sikhs are discouraged from fasting or going on pilgrimages. Sikhs do not believe in converting people but converts to Sikhism by choice are welcomed. The morning and evening prayers take around 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 last name Singh , and all girls are given the last name Kaur (this was once a title which was conferred on an individual upon joining the Khalsa ).

Sikhs marriage ritual includes the _anand kāraj _ ceremony. The marriage ceremony is performed in front of the Guru Granth Sahib; around which the couple circle 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 unless special circumstances arise. A Sikh couple that wishes to divorce may be able to do so in a civil court.

Upon death, the body of a Sikh is usually cremated. If this is not possible, any respectful means of disposing the body may be employed. The _kīrtan sōhilā_ and _ardās_ prayers are performed during the funeral ceremony (known as _antim sanskār _).


Guru Gobind Singh and the Panj Pyare

Khalsa (meaning "Sovereign") is the collective name given by Guru Gobind Singh to those Sikhs who have been initiated by taking part in a ceremony called _ammrit sañcār _ (nectar ceremony). During this ceremony, sweetened water is stirred with double-edged sword while liturgical prayers are sung and is offered to the initiating Sikh, who ritually drinks it. Many adherents of Sikhism do not undergo this ceremony, but still adhere to some components of the faith and identify as Sikhs. The initiated Sikh, considered reborn, is referred to as Khalsa Sikh, while those who do not get baptized are referred to as Sahajdhari Sikhs.

The first time that this ceremony took place was on Vaisakhi , which fell on 30 March 1699 at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. It was on that occasion that Gobind Singh baptised the Pañj Piārē —the five beloved ones, who in turn baptised Guru Gobind Singh himself. To males who initiated, the last name Singh, meaning "lion", was given, while the last name Kaur, meaning "princess", was given to baptized Sikh females.

Baptised Sikhs ritually wear five items, called the Five Ks (in Punjabi known as _pañj kakkē_ or _pañj kakār_), at all times. The five items are: _kēs _ (uncut hair), _kaṅghā _ (small wooden comb), _kaṛā _ (circular steel or iron bracelet), _kirpān _ (sword/dagger), and _kacchera _ (special undergarment). The Five Ks have both practical and symbolic purposes.


Main article: History of Sikhism

Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism, was born in the village of _Rāi Bhōi dī Talwandī_, now called Nankana Sahib (in present-day Pakistan ). His parents were Khatri Hindus . 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. The five major journeys of Guru Nanak according to his hagiography .

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 Bhatti was witness to many incidents in which Nanak enchanted him and as a result Rai Bular Bhatti 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_. He reappeared three days later and declared: "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim" (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 Sikhism. Although the exact account of his itinerary is disputed, hagiographic accounts state he made five major journeys, spanning thousands of miles, the first tour being east towards Bengal and Assam , the second south towards Andhra and Tamil Nadu , the third north towards Kashmir , Ladakh , and to Mount Sumeru in Tibet , and the fourth tour west towards Baghdad and Mecca . In his last and final tour, he returned to the banks of the Ravi River to end his days.

There are two competing theories on Guru Nanak's teachings. One, according to Cole and Sambhi, is based on hagiographical Janamsakhis , and states that Nanak's teachings and Sikhism were a revelation from God, and not a social protest movement nor any attempt to reconcile Hinduism and Islam in the 15th century. The other states, Nanak was a Guru . According to Singha, " Sikhism does not subscribe to the theory of incarnation or the concept of prophethood. But it has a pivotal concept of Guru. He is not an incarnation of God, not even a prophet. He is an illumined soul." The hagiographical _Janamsakhis_ were not written by Nanak, but by later followers without regard for historical accuracy, and contain numerous legends and myths created to show respect for Nanak. The term revelation, clarify Cole and Sambhi, in Sikhism is not limited to the teachings of Nanak, they include all Sikh Gurus, as well as the words of past, present and future men and women, who possess divine knowledge intuitively through meditation. The Sikh revelations include the words of non- Sikh bhagats , some who lived and died before the birth of Nanak, and whose teachings are part of the Sikh scriptures. The Adi Granth and successive Sikh Gurus repeatedly emphasized, states Mandair, that Sikhism is "not about hearing voices from God, but it is about changing the nature of the human mind, and anyone can achieve direct experience and spiritual perfection at any time".

Scholars state that in its origins, Sikhism was influenced by the _nirguni_ (formless God) tradition of Bhakti movement in medieval India. Nanak was raised in a Hindu family and belonged to the Bhakti Sant tradition. The roots of the Sikh tradition are, states Louis Fenech, perhaps in the Sant -tradition of India whose ideology grew to become the Bhakti tradition. Furthermore, adds Fenech, "Indic mythology permeates the Sikh sacred canon, the _ Guru Granth Sahib_ and the secondary canon, the _Dasam Granth_ and adds delicate nuance and substance to the sacred symbolic universe of the Sikhs of today and of their past ancestors".


Guru Nanak explaining Sikh teachings to Sadhus

In 1539, Guru Nanak chose his disciple _Lahiṇā_ as a successor to the guruship rather than either of his sons. Lahiṇā was named Guru Angad and became the second guru of the Sikhs. Nanak conferred his choice at the town of Kartarpur on the banks of the river Ravi , where Nanak had finally settled down after his travels. Though Sri Chand was not an ambitious man, the Udasis believed that the Guruship should have gone to him, since he was a man of pious habits in addition to being Nanak's son. On Nanak's advice, Guru Angad moved from Kartarpur to Khadur, where his wife Khivi and children were living, until he was able to bridge the divide between his followers and the Udasis. Guru Angad continued the work started by Guru Nanak and is widely credited for standardising the Gurmukhī script as used in the sacred scripture of the Sikhs.

Guru Amar Das became the third Sikh guru in 1552 at the age of 73. Goindval became an important centre for Sikhism during the guruship of Guru Amar Das. He preached the principle of equality for women by prohibiting purdah and sati . Guru Amar Das also encouraged the practice of langar and made all those who visited him attend laṅgar before they could speak to him. In 1567, Emperor Akbar sat with the ordinary and poor people of the Punjab to have laṅgar. Guru Amar Das also trained 146 apostles of which 52 were women, to manage the rapid expansion of the religion. Before he died in 1574 aged 95, he appointed his son-in-law Jēṭhā, a Khatri of the Sodhi clan, as the fourth Sikh guru.

_Jēṭhā_ became Guru Ram Das and vigorously undertook his duties as the new guru. He is responsible for the establishment of the city of Ramdaspur later to be named Amritsar . Before Ramdaspur, Amritsar was known as Guru Da Chakk. In 1581, Guru Arjan —youngest son of the fourth guru—became the fifth guru of the Sikhs. In addition to being responsible for building the Harimandir Sahib , he prepared the Sikh sacred text known as the Ādi Granth (literally _the first book_) and included the writings of the first five gurus and other enlightened Hindu and Muslim saints. In 1606, he was tortured and killed by the Mughal emperor Jahangir , for refusing to make changes to the Granth and for not converting to Islam. His martyrdom is considered a watershed event in the history of Sikhism.


Guru Hargobind became the sixth guru of the Sikhs. He carried two swords—one for spiritual and the other for temporal reasons (known as _mīrī_ and _pīrī_ in Sikhism). Sikhs grew as an organized community and under the 10th Guru the Sikhs developed a trained fighting force to defend their independence. In 1644, Guru Har Rai became guru followed by Guru Har Krishan , the boy guru, in 1661. Guru Har Krishan helped to heal many sick people. Coming into contact with so many people every day, he too was infected and taken seriously ill and later died. No hymns composed by these three gurus are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. Sculpture of a mass Sikh execution after the invasion of Nader Shah . Gurdwara Mehdiana Sahib

Guru Tegh Bahadur became guru in 1665 and led the Sikhs until 1675. Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by Aurangzeb for helping to protect one's right to freedom of religion, after a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits came to him for help when the Emperor began to persecute 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 _Pañj Piārē _ when he inaugurated the Khalsa on 30 March 1699. From here on in he was known as Guru Gobind Singh .

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 Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh.

Sikh Confederacy And The Rise Of The Khalsa

The tenth guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh , inaugurated the Khalsa (the collective body of all initiated Sikhs ) as the Sikh temporal authority in the year 1699. The Khalsa is a disciplined community that combines its spiritual purpose and goals with political and military duties. Shortly before his death, Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed the Gurū Granth Sāhib (the Sikh Holy Scripture) to be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs, to be worshipped and bowed to. Some bodyguard of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Sikh capital, Lahore, Punjab.

The Sikh Khalsa's rise to power began in the 17th century during a time of growing militancy against Mughal rule. The creation of a Sikh Empire began when Guru Gobind Singh sent a Sikh general, Banda Singh Bahadur , to fight the Mughal rulers of India and those who had committed atrocities against Pir Buddhu Shah . Banda Singh advanced his army towards the main Muslim Mughal city of Sirhind and, following the instructions of the guru, punished all the culprits. Soon after the invasion of Sirhind, while resting in his chamber after the Rehras prayer Guru Gobind Singh was stabbed by a Pathan assassin hired by Mughals . Gobind Singh killed the attacker with his sword. Though a European surgeon stitched the Guru's wound, the wound re-opened as the Guru tugged at a hard strong bow after a few days, causing profuse bleeding that led to Gobind Singh's death.

After the Guru's death, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur became the commander-in-chief of the Khalsa . He organized the civilian rebellion and abolished or halted the Zamindari system in time he was active and gave the farmers proprietorship of their own land. Banda Singh was executed by the emperor Farrukh Siyar after refusing the offer of a pardon if he converted to Islam. The confederacy of Sikh warrior bands known as _misls _ alongside the development of the Dal Khalsa achieved a series of sweeping military and diplomatic victories, eventually creating a Sikh Empire in the Punjab under the emperor, Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1799.

The Sikh empire had its capital in Lahore , spread over almost 200,000 square miles (520,000 square kilometres) comprising what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. The Sikh nation's embrace of military and political organisation made it a considerable regional force in 19th century India and allowed it to retain control of the Sikh Empire in the face of numerous local uprisings. The order, traditions and discipline developed over centuries culminated at the time of Ranjit Singh to give rise to a common religious and social identity.

After the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839, the Sikh Empire fell into disorder and, after the assassination of several successors, eventually fell on the shoulders of his youngest son, Maharaja Duleep Singh . Soon after, the British began to attack the Sikh Kingdom . Both British and Sikh sides sustained heavy losses of both troops and materials in the hard-fought First and Second Anglo- Sikh Wars . The Empire was eventually annexed by the United Kingdom , bringing the Punjab under the British Raj .

In 1920 Sikhs formed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC, the Supreme Gurdwara Management Committee) to preserve Sikhs' religious and political organizations. In essence, it protected the Sikh's religious, political, and social life from being destroyed and violated. Thus, the SGPC became the modern version of the Guru Panth given that the committee consisted of elected Sikh men and women. In addition, unlike the British, this committee had no authority over the granthi (priests). These elected members were paid employees who simply oversaw the activities taking place in Sikh historic sites.


Of the violence that was accompanied by the Partition of India , historians Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh write:

There are numerous eyewitness accounts of the maiming and mutilation of victims. The catalogue of horrors includes the disembowelling of pregnant women, the slamming of babies' heads against brick walls, the cutting off of victims limbs and genitalia and the display of heads and corpses. While previous communal riots had been deadly, the scale and level of brutality was unprecedented. Although some scholars question the use of the term 'genocide' with respect to the Partition massacres, much of the violence manifested as having genocidal tendencies. It was designed to cleanse an existing generation as well as prevent its future reproduction. Sikh Light Infantry personnel march past during the Republic day parade in New Delhi , India

The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the number of deaths vary, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000.

The emergency meeting of the joint defense council on 16 August agreed to strengthen the Punjab boundary force as quickly as possible. Nehru and liquat visited Lahore, Ambala, Jilandur and Amritsar together to see for themselves what was going on and to appeal for peace. They tried to remind everyone that both India and Pakistan had pledged to protect the minorities after the partition and that there was no need for anyone to move home but they were shouting against the hurricane. Each new outrage, each new massacre brought the thirst for revenge and desperate need to flee from the terror as the scale of disaster mounted, Tara Singh and other Sikh leaders toured the province in military vehicles, appealing to stop the violence, but their followers had tasted blood, and it was too late for Tara Singh to stop what he had begun.

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 emerged as a leader of the Damdami Taksal in 1977 and promoted a more militant solution to the problem. In June 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian army to launch Operation Blue Star to remove Bhindranwale and his followers from the Darbar Sahib. Bhindranwale and his accompanying followers, as well as many innocent Sikhs visiting the temple, 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 . and Hindu- Sikh conflicts in Punjab, as a reaction to Operation Blue Star and the assassination.


The development of Sikhism was influenced by the Bhakti movement , however, Sikhism was not simply an extension of the Bhakti movement. Sikhism developed while the region was being ruled by the Mughal Empire . Two of the Sikh gurus Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur , after they refused to convert to Islam, were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers. The Islamic era persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa , as an order for freedom of conscience and religion. A Sikh is expected to embody the qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier .


Main article: Sikh Nagar Kirtan in Bangalore

Sikhs firmly believe in sewa (service to community and God) and simran (remembrance of God), the two tenets of Sikh life. The list of prominent Sikhs in humanitarian activities include Bhai Kanhaiya (1648–1718), Bhagat Puran Singh (1904–1992), Bhai Trilochan Singh Panesar (1937–2010).

According to Sewa Singh Kalsi, the Sikh people have gained a reputation through history for being

sturdy, hardworking and adventurous; they are a people who have earned the reputation for being extremely brave and loyal soldiers. They have also become known for being a militant people.

Beginning in 1968, Yogi Bhajan (later of the 3HO movement) began to teach classes kundalini yoga, resulting in a number of non-Punjabi converts to Sikhism (known as white Sikhs) in the United States. Since then, 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.

Since 2010, the Sikh Directory has organized The Sikh Awards , the first Sikh award ceremony in the world.


According to Surinder Jodhka, the state of Punjab with a Sikh majority has the "largest proportion of scheduled caste population in India". The practice of caste system, states Jodhka, is decried by Sikhism, but like Hindus, Christians and Muslims, Sikhs have practiced a caste system. The system, along with untouchability, has been more common in rural parts of Punjab. The landowning dominant Sikh castes, states Jodhka, "have not shed all their prejudices against the lower castes or dalits ; while dalits would be allowed entry into the village gurdwaras they would not be permitted to cook or serve langar." The Sikh dalits of Punjab have tried to build their own gurdwara, other local level institutions and sought better material circumstances and dignity. According to Jodhka, due to economic mobility in contemporary Punjab, castes no longer mean an inherited occupation nor are work relations tied to a single location. In 1953, the government of India acceded to the demands of the Sikh leader, Master Tara Singh , to include Sikh dalit castes in the list of scheduled castes. In the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee , 20 of the 140 seats are reserved for low-caste Sikhs.

Over 60% of Sikhs belong to the Jat caste, which is an agrarian caste. Despite being very small in numbers, the often wealthy mercantile Khatri and Arora castes wield considerable influence within the Sikh community. Other common Sikh castes include Sainis , Rajputs , Ramgarhias (artisans), Ahluwalias (formerly brewers), Kambojs (rural caste), Labanas , Kumhars and the two Dalit castes, known in Sikh terminology as the Mazhabis (the Chuhras) and the Ramdasias (the Chamars).


Main article: Sikh Further information: Sikhism in India Further information: Sikh diaspora Further information: Sikhism by country Sikhs celebrating Vaisakhi in Toronto , Ontario , Canada.

Sikhism is the ninth-largest amongst the major world religions , and one of the youngest. Worldwide, there are 25.8 million Sikhs, which makes up 0.39% of the world's population. Approximately 75% of Sikhs live in the Punjab , where they constitute about 60% of the state's population. Large communities of Sikhs live in the neighboring states such as Indian State of Haryana which is home to the second largest Sikh population in India with 1.1 million Sikhs as per 2001 census, and large communities of Sikhs can be found across India. However, Sikhs only comprise about 2% of the Indian population.

Sikh migration to Canada began in the 19th century and led to the creation of significant Sikh communities, predominantly in South Vancouver , British Columbia , Surrey, British Columbia , and Brampton, Ontario . Today temples, newspapers, radio stations, and markets cater to these large, multi-generational Indo-Canadian groups. Sikh festivals such as Vaisakhi and Bandi Chhor are celebrated in those Canadian cities by the largest groups of followers in the world outside the Punjab.

Sikhs also migrated to East Africa , West Africa , the Middle East , Southeast Asia , the United Kingdom as well as United States and Australia . 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 . Smaller populations of Sikhs are found within many countries in Western Europe , Mauritius , Malaysia , Philippines , Fiji , Nepal , China , Pakistan , Afghanistan , Iraq , Singapore , the United States , and many other countries.


Further information: Prohibitions in Sikhism and Diet in Sikhism

Some prohibitions include:

* Cutting hair: Cutting hair is forbidden in Sikhism for those who have taken the Amrit initiation ceremony. These Amritdhari or Khalsa Sikhs are required to keep unshorn hair. * Intoxication: Consumption of alcohol, non-medicinal drugs, tobacco, and other intoxicants is forbidden in Sikhism according to the " Sikh Rahit Maryada". A Khalsa Amritdhari Sikh who consumes any intoxicant is considered _patit_ lapsed, and may be readmitted into Khalsa only if re-baptized. In contrast, Nihangs of Sikh tradition who protect Sikh shrines wearing visible and ready weaponry along with their notable blue turbans, practice meditation with the aid of cannabis. Regular Sikhs, in practice however, socially consume some alcohol, while smoking has been historically infrequent among Sikhs. * Priestly class: Sikhism does not have priests, but does have liturgical service which employs people for a salary to sing hymns ( Kirtan ), officiate an Ardās Puja or marriage, and perform services at a Gurdwara. Any Sikh can become a Granthi to look after the Guru Granth Sahib , and any Sikh is free to read from the Guru Granth Sahib. * Eating meat : Both initiated and uninitiated Sikhs are strictly prohibited from eating meat from animals slaughtered by halal method, known as Kutha meat , where the animal is killed by exsanguination (via throat-cutting). According to Eleanor Nesbitt, the general issue of vegetarianism versus non-vegetarianism is controversial within Sikhism, and contemporary Sikhs disagree. The ban on _kutha meat_, along with ban on any sexual relations with Muslims and a ban on smoking habit common among 18th-century Indian Muslims, states Nesbitt, was a part of Sikh Guru's efforts to socially isolate Muslims. Amritdhari Sikhs, or those baptized with the _Amrit_, have been strict vegetarians, abstaining from all meat and eggs. Sikhs who eat meat seek the Jhatka method of producing meat believing it to cause less suffering to the animal. The uninitiated Sikhs too are not habitual meat-eaters by choice, and beef (cow meat) has been a traditional taboo. Typically meat is not served in community free meals such as langar . * Adultery is forbidden.


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* ^ Singh, Khushwant (2006). _The Illustrated History of the Sikhs_. India: Oxford University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-19-567747-8 . * ^ (in Punjabi) Nabha, Kahan. Sahib Singh (1930). _Gur Shabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh_ (in Punjabi). p. 720. Archived from the original on 18 March 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2006. * ^ _Sikhism_ (indigenously known as _Sikhī_) originated from the word _Sikh_, which comes from the Sanskrit root _śiṣya _ meaning "disciple", or _śikṣa_ meaning. "instruction". * ^ _A_ _B_ W.Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1993). _ Sikhism and Christianity: A Comparative Study (Themes in Comparative Religion)_. Wallingford, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 117. ISBN 0333541073 . * ^ Luis Moreno; César Colino (2010). _Diversity and Unity in Federal Countries_. McGill Queen University Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-7735-9087-8 . , Quote: "Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated on the Indian subcontinent". * ^ Sewa Singh Kalsi. _Sikhism_. Chelsea House, Philadelphia. pp. 41–50. * ^ William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). _The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices_. Sussex Academic Press. p. 200. * ^ _A_ _B_ Teece, Geoff (2004). _Sikhism: Religion in focus_. Black Rabbit Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-58340-469-0 . * ^ Singh, Patwant; (2000). The Sikhs. Alfred A Knopf Publishing. Pages 17. ISBN 0-375-40728-6 . * ^ Woodhead, Linda (2016). _Religions in the Modern World_. New York: Routledge. p. 137. ISBN 9780415858816 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Louis Fenech and WH McLeod (2014), Historical Dictionary of Sikhism, 3rd Edition, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-1442236004 , page 17 * ^ _A_ _B_ William James (2011), God's Plenty: Religious Diversity in Kingston, McGill Queens University Press, ISBN 978-0773538894 , pages 241-242 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Mann, Gurinder Singh (2001). _The Making of Sikh Scripture_. United States: Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-19-513024-9 . * ^ Singh Kalsi, Sewa (2008). _Sikhism_. London: Kuperard. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-85733-436-4 . Sikhism rejects the view that any particular religious tradition has a monopoly regarding Absolute Truth. Sikhism strongly rejects the practice of converting people to other religious traditions. * ^ Gregory M. Reichberg; Henrik Syse (2014). _Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 672–674. ISBN 978-1-139-95204-0 . * ^ Nayar, Kamala Elizabeth ; Sandhu, Jaswinder Singh (2012). _Socially Involved Renunciate, The: Guru Nanak\'s Discourse to the Nath Yogis_. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-7950-6 . , page=106 * ^ Marwaha, Sonali Bhatt (2006). _Colors of Truth: Religion, Self and Emotions : Perspectives of Hinduism, Buddism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Sikhism and Contemporary Psychology_. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-8069-268-0 . , pages 205–6 * ^ Marty, Martin E. (1996). _Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance_. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-50884-9 . , page 278 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Pashaura Singh (2005), Understanding the Martyrdom of Guru Arjan, Journal of Punjab Studies, 12(1), pages 29-62

* ^ Pashaura Singh; Louis E. Fenech (2014). _The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies_. Oxford University Press. pp. 236–238. ISBN 978-0-19-969930-8 . ; Fenech, Louis E. (2001). "Martyrdom and the Execution of Guru Arjan in Early Sikh Sources". _Journal of the American Oriental Society_. American Oriental Society. 121 (1): 20–31. doi :10.2307/606726 . ; Fenech, Louis E. (1997). "Martyrdom and the Sikh Tradition". _Journal of the American Oriental Society_. American Oriental Society. 117 (4): 623-642. doi :10.2307/606445 . ; McLeod, Hew (1999). " Sikhs and Muslims in the Punjab". _South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies_. Taylor & Francis. 22 (sup001): 155–165. doi :10.1080/00856408708723379 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Singh Gandhi, Surjit (1 Feb 2008). _History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1606 -1708_. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors Pvt Ltd. pp. 676–677. ISBN 8126908572 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Chanchreek, Jain (2007). _Encyclopaedia of Great Festivals_. Shree Publishers & Distributors. p. 142. ISBN 9788183291910 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Dugga, Kartar (2001). _Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The Last to Lay Arms_. Abhinav Publications. p. 33. ISBN 9788170174103 . * ^ Bahri, Hardev. "GURMUKHI". _Encyclopaedia of Sikhism_. Punjabi University Patiala. Retrieved 9 April 2016. * ^ Christopher Shackle; Arvind Mandair (2013). _Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures_. Routledge. pp. xxi–xxiii. ISBN 978-1-136-45101-0 . * ^ Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (2013). _Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed_. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 3, 12–13. ISBN 978-1-4411-0231-7 . * ^ Chahal, Devinder (July–December 2006). "Understanding Sikhism in the Science Age" (PDF). _Understanding Sikhism, The Research Journal_ (2): 3. Retrieved 10 November 2013. * ^ Rehat Maryada Archived 1 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Mark Juergensmeyer, Gurinder Singh Mann (2006). _The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions_. US: Oxford University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-19-513798-9 . * ^ Nesbitt, Eleanor M. (15 November 2005). _Sikhism: a very short introduction_. Oxford University Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-19-280601-7 . Retrieved 19 July 2010. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions:From Ancient History to the Present_. USA: Hamlyn Publishing Group. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ Dev, Guru Nanak Dev . _ Guru Granth Sāhib ji_. p. 1035. Retrieved 15 June 2006. For endless eons, there was only utter darkness. There was no earth or sky; there was only the infinite Command of His Hukam. * ^ Taoshobuddha (22 Aug 2012). _Ek Onkar Satnam: The Heartbeat of Nanak_. AuthorHouseUK. p. 438. ISBN 1477214267 . * ^ Mayled, John (2002). _Sikhism_. Heinemann. p. 16. ISBN 0-435-33627-4 . * ^ Dev, Nanak . _Gurū Granth Sāhib_. p. 15. Retrieved 15 June 2006. You are the One True Lord and Master of all the other beings, of so many worlds. * ^ Singh, Nirmal (2008). _Searches In Sikhism_. Hemkunt Press. p. 68. ISBN 9788170103677 . * ^ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Pruthi, Raj (2004). _ Sikhism and Indian Civilization_. Discovery Publishing House. p. 204. ISBN 9788171418794 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ McLean, George (2008). _Paths to The Divine: Ancient and Indian: 12_. 1565182480: Council for Research in Values &. p. 599. * ^ Note: some disagree with this viewpoint, and state that guru in Sikhism is "not a teacher or a guide", but "God's own manifestation"; see: Bhagat Singh Quote: "(...) In Sikh religion the word 'Guru' does not denote a teacher, or an expert or a guide in human body. When God manifested his attributes in person, that person was called 'Guru Nanak'" * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 254. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Singh, R.K. Janmeja (Meji) (August 2013). "Gurbani\'s Guidance and the Sikh\'s \'Destination\'" (PDF). _The Sikh Review_. 8. 61 (716): 27–35. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013. * ^ Dhillon, Bikram Singh (January–June 1999). "Who is a Sikh? Definitions of Sikhism" (PDF). _Understanding Sikhism – The Research Journal_. 1 (1): 33–36, 27. Retrieved 29 November 2013. * ^ Dhillon, Sukhraj Singh (May 2004). "Universality of the Sikh Philosophy: An Analysis" (PDF). _The Sikh Review_. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-04. Retrieved 29 November 2013. * ^ Takhar, Opinderjit (2005). _ Sikh Identity: An Exploration Of Groups Among Sikhs_. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 143. ISBN 9780754652021 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Grewal, JS (1998). _The Sikhs of the Punjab_. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp. 25–36. ISBN 0521637643 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Chahal, Amarjit Singh (December 2011). "Concept of Reincarnation in Guru Nanak\'s Philosophy" (PDF). _Understanding Sikhism – The Research Journal_. 13 (1-2): 52–59. Retrieved 29 November 2013. * ^ Wilkinson, Philip (2008). _Religions_. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 209, 214–215. ISBN 978-0-7566-3348-6 . * ^ House, H. Wayne (April 1991). "Resurrection, Reincarnation, and Humanness" (PDF). _Bibliotheca Sacra_. 148 (590). Retrieved 29 November 2013. * ^ Singh, H. S. (2000). _The Encyclopedia of Sikhism_. Hemkunt Press. p. 80. ISBN 9788170103011 . * ^ Kapoor, Sukhbir (2005). _ Guru Granth Sahib - An Advance Study Volume-I_. Hemkunt Press. p. 188. ISBN 9788170103172 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ David Lorenzen (1995), Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791420256 , pages 1-2, Quote: "Historically, Sikh religion derives from this nirguni current of bhakti religion" * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Louis Fenech (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308 , page 35, Quote: "Technically this would place the Sikh community's origins at a much further remove than 1469, perhaps to the dawning of the Sant movement, which possesses clear affinities to Guru Nanak's thought sometime in the tenth century. The predominant ideology of the Sant _parampara_ in turn corresponds in many respects to the much wider devotional Bhakti tradition in northern India." * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Sikhism, Encyclopædia Britannica (2014), Quote: "In its earliest stage Sikhism was clearly a movement within the Hindu tradition; Nanak was raised a Hindu and eventually belonged to the Sant tradition of northern India," * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _ Sikh Studies, Book 7_. New Delhi, India: Hemkunt Press. 2009. p. 8. ISBN 8170102456 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Pruthi, R K (2004). _ Sikhism and Indian Civilization_. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House. pp. 202–203. ISBN 9788171418794 . * ^ HL Richard (2007), Religious Movements in Hindu Social Contexts: A Study of Paradigms for Contextual "Church" Development International Journal of Frontier Missiology, Vol. 24, Issue 3, page 144 * ^ _A_ _B_ Jon Mayled (2002). _Sikhism_. Heinemann. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-435-33627-1 . * ^ Surinder S. Kohli (1993). _The Sikh and Sikhism_. Atlantic Publishers. pp. 74–76. ISBN 81-7156-336-8 . * ^ Singh, Nirmal (2008). _Searches In Sikhism_ (First ed.). New Delhi: Hemkunt Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-81-7010-367-7 . * ^ Sant Singh Khalsa (Translator) (2006). _Sri Guru Granth Sahib_. srigranth.org. pp. 305–306 (see verses 305–16 to 306–2). * ^ Jagbir Jhutti-Johal (2011). _ Sikhism Today_. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-4411-8140-4 . * ^ W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1997), A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700710485 , page 22 * ^ _A_ _B_ David Lorenzen (1995), Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791420256 , pages 1-3 * ^ Hardip Syan (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308 , page 178 * ^ A Mandair (2011), Time and religion-making in modern Sikhism, in _Time, History and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia_ (Editor: Anne Murphy), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415595971 , page 188-190 * ^ Mahinder Gulati (2008), Comparative Religious And Philosophies : Anthropomorphism And Divinity, Atlantic, ISBN 978-8126909025 , page 305 * ^ Constance Elsberg (2003), _Graceful Women_, University of Tennessee Press, ISBN 978-1-57233-214-0 , pages 27–28 * ^ William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). _The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices_. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 3, 42–43. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4 . * ^ Karen Pechilis; Selva J. Raj (2012). _South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today_. Routledge. p. 243. ISBN 978-1-136-16323-4 . * ^ Pashaura Singh; Michael Hawley (2012). _Re-imagining South Asian Religions_. BRILL Academic. pp. 42–43. ISBN 90-04-24236-8 . * ^ William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). _The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices_. Sussex Academic Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4 . * ^ Nayar, Kamal Elizabeth & Sandhu, Jaswinder Singh (2007). _The Socially Involved Renunciate - Guru Nanaks Discourse to Nath Yogi\'s_. United States of America: State University of New York Press. p. 106. * ^ Kaur Singh; Nikky Guninder (30 Jan 2004). _ Hindu spirituality: Postclassical and modern (Editors: K. R. Sundararajan, Bithika Mukerji)_. English: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 530. ISBN 8120819373 . * ^ Marwha, Sonali Bhatt (2006). _Colors of Truth, Religion Self and Emotions_. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. p. 205. ISBN 818069268X . * ^ E. Marty, Martin & Appleby R. Scott (1996). _Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance_. University of Chicago Press. pp. 277–278. ISBN 0226508846 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Singh Gandhi, Surjit (2008). _History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1606 -1708_. English: Atlantic Publishers. pp. 435, 676–677. ISBN 8126908572 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Mandair, Arvind-Pal Singh (2009). _ Religion and the Specter of the West - Sikhism, India, Postcoloniality and the Politics of Translation_. Columbia University Press. pp. 372–373. ISBN 0231147244 . * ^ Singh, Joginder (2004). _Celestial Gems_. Hemkunt Press. p. 67. ISBN 9788170103455 . * ^ Singh Bakhshi, Surinder (1 Sep 2008). "Chapter 22 - Nitnem". _ Sikhs in the Diaspora: A Modern Guide to the Practice of Sikh Faith_. Sikh Publishing House; First edition. p. 133. ISBN 0956072801 . * ^ Doel, Sarah (2008). _ Sikh Music: History, Text, and Praxis_. ProQuest. p. 46. ISBN 9780549833697 . * ^ Dalbir Singh Dhillon (1988). _Sikhism, Origin and Development_. Atlantic Publishers. p. 229. * ^ Cave, David; Norris, Rebecca (2012). _ Religion and the Body: Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning_. BRILL Academic. p. 239. ISBN 978-9004221116 . * ^ Anna S. King; J. L. Brockington (2005). _The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indic Religions_. Orient Blackswan. pp. 322–323. ISBN 978-81-250-2801-7 . * ^ W. Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (2005). _A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy_. Routledge. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-1-135-79760-7 . * ^ Michael L. Hadley (2001). _The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice_. State University of New York Press. pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0-7914-4851-9 . * ^ Wood, Angela (1997). _Movement and Change_. Nelson Thornes. p. 46. ISBN 9780174370673 . * ^ W. Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (2005). _A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy_. Routledge. pp. 31, 59. ISBN 978-1-135-79760-7 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ L. Hadley, Michael (8 Feb 2001). "Sikhism and Restorative Justice:Theory and Practice - Pashaura Singh". _The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice (S U N Y Series in Religious Studies)_. State University of New York Press. p. 199. ISBN 0791448525 . * ^ Shiva, Vandana (1991). _The Violence of Green Revolution: Third World Agriculture, Ecology and Politics_. Zed Books. p. 188. ISBN 9780862329655 . * ^ Mcleod, W H (1991). _The Sikhs: History, Religion, and Society (ACLS Lectures on the History of Religions)_. Columbia University Press; Reprint edition. p. 56. ISBN 0231068158 . * ^ Marianne Fleming 1 edition. p. 123. ISBN 0435307134 . * ^ Rait, Satwant Kaur (2005). _ Sikh Women in England: Religious, Social and Cultural Beliefs_. English: Trentham Books Ltd; illustrated edition. p. 51. ISBN 1858563534 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Singh, Darshan (1968). _Indian Bhakti Tradition and Sikh Gurus_ (First ed.). Chandigarh: Panjab Publishers. p. 158. * ^ Eleanor Nesbitt (22 September 2005). _Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction_. OUP Oxford. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-19-157806-9 . * ^ Singh Gandhi, Surjit (1 Feb 2008). _History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469-1606 C.E_. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors Pvt Ltd. p. 265. ISBN 9788126908578 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Khushwant Singh (1969). _Hymns of Guru Nanak_. Orient Blackswan. p. 116. ISBN 978-81-250-1161-3 . * ^ Singh Gandhi, Surjit (2007). _History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469-1606 C.E_. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors Pvt Ltd. p. 265. ISBN 978-8126908592 . * ^ Singh, Darshan (1968). _Indian Bhakti Tradition and Sikh Gurus_ (First ed.). Chandigarh: Panjab Publishers. p. 148. * ^ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ " Sikh Reht Maryada — Method of Adopting Gurmatta". Archived from the original on 6 June 2002. Retrieved 9 June 2006. * ^ Raj, Selva (2013). _South Asian Religions: Tradition and Today_ (First ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. p. 232. ISBN 9780415448512 . * ^ _A_ _B_ HS Singha (2009), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Hemkunt Press, ISBN 978-8170103011 , page 104 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048 , pages xvii-xx * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , pages 45-46 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , pages 49-50 * ^ Trumpp, Ernest (2004) . _The Ādi Granth or the Holy Scriptures of the Sikhs_. India: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 1xxxi. ISBN 978-81-215-0244-3 . * ^ Grierson, George Abraham (1967) . _The Linguistic Survey of India_. India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 624. ISBN 978-81-85395-27-2 . * ^ E Nesbitt (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308 , pages 360-369 * ^ _A_ _B_ Shapiro, Michael (2002). _Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth_. Journal Of The American Oriental Society. pp. 924, 925.

* ^ Mahinder Gulati (2008), Comparative Religious And Philosophies : Anthropomorphism And Divinity, Atlantic, ISBN 978-8126909025 , page 302; HS Singha (2009), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Hemkunt Press, ISBN 978-8170103011 , page 8 * ^ Mann, Gurinder Singh (2001). _The Making of Sikh Scripture_. United States: Oxford University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-19-513024-9 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ Anna S. King and JL Brockington (2005), The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indic Religions, Orient Blackswan, ISBN 978-8125028017 , pages 359-361 * ^ _A_ _B_ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048 , pages xxi-xxxii * ^ _A_ _B_ Torkel Brekke (2014), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (Editors: Gregory M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521450386 , pages 673, 675, 672-686 * ^ Arvind Mandair (2008), Shared Idioms, Sacred Symbols, and the Articulation of Identities in South Asia (Editor: Kelly Pemberton), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415958288 , page 61 * ^ Jane Bingham (2007), Sikhism, Atlas of World Faiths, ISBN 978-1599200590 , pages 19-20 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , page 44 * ^ Torkel Brekke (2014), Religion, War, and Ethics: A Sourcebook of Textual Traditions (Editors: Gregory M. Reichberg and Henrik Syse), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521450386 , page 675 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Kristina Myrvold (2016), Making the Scripture a Person: Reinventing Death Rituals of Guru Granth Sahib in Sikhism, p.142-143. In: Kristina Myrvold (2016), The Death of Sacred Texts: Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions, Routledge * ^ AK Sinha (2013), Glimpse of Scriptures of Religions of Indian Origin, Xlibris, ISBN 978-1483663081 , pages 204-216 * ^ Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048 , pages xxxiv-xli * ^ Nirbhai Singh (1990), Philosophy of Sikhism: Reality and Its Manifestations, Atlantic Publishers, pages 115-122 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , page 157 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , page 40 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , pages 155-156 * ^ _A_ _B_ J Deol (2000), Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity (Editors: AS Mandair, C Shackle, G Singh), Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713899 , pages 31-33 * ^ Robert Zaehner (1988), The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Living Faiths, Hutchinson, ISBN 978-0091735760 , pages 426-427 * ^ Christopher Shackle and Arvind Mandair (2005), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415266048 , page xx * ^ William McLeod (2009), The A to Z of Sikhism, Toronto: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0810868281 , page 151 * ^ Parrinder, Geoffrey (1971). _World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present_. United States: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-87196-129-7 . * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , page 148 * ^ Mark McWilliams (2014). _Food & Material Culture: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2013_. Oxford Symposium. p. 265. ISBN 978-1-909248-40-3 . * ^ William Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1995). _The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices_. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-1-898723-13-4 . , QUOTE: "Since the time of Guru Amar Das it has been customary for Sikhs to assemble before their Guru on three of the most important Hindu festival occasions - Vaisakhi, Divali and Maha Shivaratri". * ^ Kathleen Kuiper (2010). _The Culture of India_. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 127. ISBN 978-1-61530-149-2 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Eleanor Nesbitt (2016). _Sikhism: a Very Short Introduction_. Oxford University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-0-19-874557-0 . * ^ Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (2013). _Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed_. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 128–130. ISBN 978-1-4411-0231-7 . * ^ Eleanor Nesbitt (2016). _Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction_. Oxford University Press. pp. 6, 124. ISBN 978-0-19-106276-6 . * ^ W. H. McLeod (2009). _The A to Z of Sikhism_. Scarecrow Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-8108-6344-6 . * ^ Christian Roy (2005). _Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia_. ABC-CLIO. pp. 192–193. ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5 . * ^ James K. Wellman, Jr.; Clark Lombardi (2012). _ Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective_. Oxford University Press. pp. 112 note 18. ISBN 978-0-19-982775-6 . * ^ Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (2011). _Sikhism: An Introduction_. I.B.Tauris. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-1-84885-321-8 . * ^ "Eco Sikh website with reports on Sikh Environment Day activity worldwide". Ecosikh.org. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2013-04-20. * ^ Sahib, Nanak . _ Guru Granth Sāhib_. p. 75. Retrieved 30 June 2006. Pilgrimages, fasts, purification and self-discipline are of no use, nor are rituals, religious ceremonies or empty worship. * ^ Loehlin, Clinton Herbert (1964) . _The Sikhs and Their Scriptures_ (Second ed.). Lucknow Publishing House. p. 42. * ^ Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (2005). _The Birth of the Khalsa: A Feminist Re-Memory of Sikh Identity_. State University of New York Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-7914-6583-7 . , Quote: "The name of the wedding ceremony, anand karaj (anand = bliss, karaj = event), is derived from Guru Amar Das's rapturous hymn Anand (bliss)." * ^ Rosemary Skinner Keller; Rosemary Radford Ruether; Marie Cantlon (2006). _Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America_. Indiana University Press. p. 700. ISBN 0-253-34687-8 . * ^ Sikhs can register marriages under Anand Act - The Times of India * ^ Mansukhani, Gobind Singh (1977). _Introduction to Sikhism_. India: Hemkunt Press. Archived from the original on 11 September 2002. Retrieved 11 June 2006. * ^ " Sikh Reht Maryada — Funeral Ceremonies (Antam Sanskar)". Archived from the original on 6 April 2002. Retrieved 8 June 2006. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Pashaura Singh; Louis E. Fenech (2014). _The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies_. Oxford University Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0-19-100411-7 . * ^ Louis E. Fenech; W. H. McLeod (2014). _Historical Dictionary of Sikhism_. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-1-4422-3601-1 . * ^ Simmonds, David (1992). _Believers All: A Book of Six World Religions_. Nelson Thornes. pp. 120–121. ISBN 978-0-17-437057-4 . * ^ Singh, Khushwant (2006). _The Illustrated History of the Sikhs_. India: Oxford University Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-19-567747-8 . According to the Purātan Janamsākhī (the birth stories of Nanak) * ^ Shackle, Christopher; Mandair, Arvind-pal Singh (2005). _Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures_. United Kingdom: Routledge. xiii–xiv. ISBN 978-0-415-26604-8 . * ^ WH McLeod, Essays in Sikh History, Tradition and Society, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195682748 , page 40-44 * ^ Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (2008). _ Sikh Twareekh_. Belgium & India: The Sikh University Press. * ^ Finegan, Jack (1952). _The Archeology of World Religions; the Background of Primitivism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, and Sikhism_. Princeton: Princeton University Press. * ^ _A_ _B_ Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair (2013), Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1441102317 , pages 131-134 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , pages 9-12 * ^ W. Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1997). _A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism: Sikh Religion and Philosophy_. Taylor & Francis. p. 71. ISBN 0203986091 . * ^ Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh (2011), Sikhism: An Introduction, IB Tauris, ISBN 978-1848853218 , pages 2-8 * ^ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , pages 52-53, 46, 95-96, 159 * ^ Louis Fenech (2014), in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies (Editors: Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308 , page 36, Quote: "Few Sikhs would mention these Indic texts and ideologies in the same breadth as the Sikh tradition, let alone trace elements of their tradition to this chronological and ideological point, DESPITE THE FACT that the Indic mythology permeates the Sikh sacred canon, the _ Guru Granth Sahib_ and the secondary canon, the _Dasam Granth_ (Rinehart 2011), and adds delicate nuance and substance to the sacred symbolic universe of the Sikhs of today and of their past ancestors." * ^ Shackle, Christopher; Mandair, Arvind-Pal Singh (2005). _Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures_. United Kingdom: Routledge. p. xv. ISBN 978-0-415-26604-8 . * ^ Duggal, Kartar Singh (1988). _Philosophy and Faith of Sikhism_. Himalayan Institute Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-89389-109-1 . * ^ Brar, Sandeep Singh (1998). "The Sikhism Homepage: Guru Amar Das". Retrieved 2006-05-26. * ^ Shackle, Christopher; Mandair, Arvind-Pal Singh (2005). _Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures_. United Kingdom: Routledge. pp. xv–xvi. ISBN 978-0-415-26604-8 . * ^ Louis E. Fenech (2006), Martyrdom in the Sikh Tradition, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195679014 , pages 118-121 * ^ WH McLeod (1989), The Sikhs: History, Religion, and Society, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231068154 , pages=26-51 * ^ Mahmood, Cynthia (2002). _A Sea of Orange_. United States: Xlibris. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4010-2856-5 . * ^ Shackle, Christopher; Mandair, Arvind-pal Singh (2005). _Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures_. United Kingdom: Routledge. xvi. ISBN 978-0-415-26604-8 . * ^ Rama, Swami (1986). _Celestial Song/Gobind Geet: The Dramatic Dialogue Between Guru Gobind Singh and Banda Singh Bahadur_. Himalayan Institute Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-89389-103-9 . * ^ Shani, Giorgio (2008). _ Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age_. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-415-42190-4 . * ^ Wolfe, Alvin (1996). _Anthropological Contributions to Conflict Resolution_. University of Georgia Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-8203-1765-6 . * ^ Hansra, Harkirat (2007). _Liberty at Stake_. iUniverse. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-595-87563-4 . * ^ _Indian Armed Forces Year Book_. the University of California. 1959. p. 419. * ^ Jawandha, Nahar (2010). _Glimpses of Sikhism_. New Delhi: Sanbun Publishers. p. 81. ISBN 978-93-80213-25-5 . * ^ Singh, Khushwant (2006). _The Illustrated History of the Sikhs_. India: Oxford University Press. pp. 47–53. ISBN 978-0-19-567747-8 . * ^ Woodhead, Linda, Christoper H. Partridge, and Hiroko Kawanami. Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. Print. * ^ Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (2009). _The Partition of India_. Cambridge University Press. pp. 67, 68. ISBN 9780521672566 . * ^ Pandey, Gyanendra (2001). _Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India_. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-521-00250-9 . * ^ Horowitz, Donald L. (2003). _The Deadly Ethnic Riot_. University of California Press. pp. 482–485. ISBN 978-0-520-23642-4 . * ^ Surjit Gandhi (2008), History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1606 -1708, Atlantic Publishers, ISBN 978-8126908585 , pages 689-690 * ^ Johar, Surinder (1999). _ Guru Gobind Singh: A Multi-faceted Personality_. M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd. p. 89. ISBN 9788175330931 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Singh Kalsi, Sewa (2007). _Sikhism_. London: Bravo Ltd. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-85733-436-4 . * ^ Takhar, Opinderjit Kaur (2005). _ Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups among Sikhs_. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate Publishing. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7546-5202-1 . Retrieved October 19, 2012. * ^ , _The Sikh Business Awards_ * ^ Jodhka, Surinder S (May 11–17, 2002). "Caste and Untouchability in Rural Punjab". _Economic and Political Weekly_. 37 (19): 1822. JSTOR 4412102 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Harish K. Puri (2004). _ Dalits in Regional Context_. ISBN 978-81-7033-871-0 . * ^ Cite error: The named reference apnaorg.com was invoked but never defined (see the help page ). * ^ Encyclopedia, Britannica. " Sikhism (religion)". _britannica.com_. Retrieved 25 November 2014. * ^ Christopher Partridge (1 November 2013). _Introduction to World Religions_. Fortress Press. pp. 429–. ISBN 978-0-8006-9970-3 . * ^ Michael McDowell; Nathan Robert Brown (2009). _World Religions at Your Fingertips_. Alpha Books. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-1-59257-846-7 .

* ^ Geoff Teece (2005). _Sikhism_. Black Rabbit Books. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-1-58340-469-0 . * ^ Ballantyne, Tony (2006). _Between Colonialism and Diaspora: Sikh Cultural Formations in an Imperial World_. Duke University Press. pp. 69–74. ISBN 978-0-8223-3824-6 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Peggy Morgan (2007). _Ethical Issues in Six Religious Traditions_. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0-7486-3002-8 . * ^ HS Singha (2009), The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Hemkunt Press, ISBN 978-8170103011 , page 63 * ^ _A_ _B_ William Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi (1995), The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723134 , page 18, 65 * ^ Sikhs and Sikhism, Dr. I.J.Singh, Manohar Publishers.ISBN 978-8173040580 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Eleanor Nesbitt (2016). _Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction_. Oxford University Press. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0-19-106276-6 .

* ^ Nesbitt, Eleanor (1997). "Splashed with goodness: The many meanings of Amrit for young British Sikhs". _Journal of Contemporary Religion _. 12 (1): 27. doi :10.1080/13537909708580787 . Nesbitt, Eleanor (2000). Coakley, Sarah, ed. _ Religion and the Body_. p. 299. But for many Sikhs it is as unthinkable as it would be for many Hindus that a holy person as the Guru could have eaten flesh. Although Guru Gobind Singh is said to have prohibited only _halal_ meat (animals slaughtered in accordance with Muslim requirement), _amritdhari_ (initiated) Sikhs commonly feel committed to a diet free of eggs, fish, and meat of any kind. Contemporary movements within the _panth_, no less than earlier ones, are characterized by their ruling on non-vegetarian food. * ^ Siambhi, Piara Singh (2004). Mann, J. S.; Sodhi, S. S., eds. _Concepts in Sikhism_. p. 234. Not many Sikhs are habitually meat-eaters. Their staple diet mainly consists of cereals, pulses, vegetables and milk products. * ^ Guru Granth Sahib, pages 1103, 1350, 1374, etc * ^ "Sikhism, A Complete Introduction" by Dr. H.S. Singha & Satwant Kaur Hemkunt, Hemkunt Press, New Delhi, 1994, ISBN 81-7010-245-6 * ^ Doris R. Jakobsh. Relocating Gender In Sikh History: Transformation, Meaning and Identity. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 39-40 * ^ Mahajan PT, Pimple P, Palsetia D, Dave N, De Sousa A (January 2013). "Indian religious concepts on sexuality and marriage" . _Indian J Psychiatry_. 55 (Suppl 2): S256–62. PMC 3705692  . PMID 23858264 . doi :10.4103/0019-5545.105547 .


* Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2008), _ Sikh Twareekh_, publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 2008. * Dilgeer, Dr Harjinder Singh (2012), _ Sikh History_ (in 10 volumes), publisher Sikh University Press & Singh Brothers Amritsar, 2010–12. * Duggal, Kartar Singh (1988), _Philosophy and Faith of Sikhism_, Himalayan Institute Press, ISBN 978-0-89389-109-1 * 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 0-9682658-2-0 , gurufathasingh.com * Khalsa, Shanti Kaur, The History of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere, Sikh Dharma, Espanola, NM, 1995 ISBN 0-9639847-4-8 * Singh, Khushwant (2006), _The Illustrated History of the Sikhs_, Oxford University Press, India, ISBN 978-0-19-567747-8 * Singh, Patwant (1999), _The Sikhs_, Random House, India, ISBN 978-0-385-50206-1 * Takhar, Opinderjit Kaur, Sikh Identity: An Exploration of Groups Among Sikhs, Ashgate Publishing Company, Burlington, VT, 2005 ISBN 0-7546-5202-5 * Teece, Geoff (2004), _Sikhism: Religion in focus_, Black Rabbit Books, ISBN 978-1-58340-469-0 * 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 padding:0.75em; background:#f9f9f9;"> Find more aboutSIKHISMat's sister projects

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