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Believer
15 August 2010, 09:07 PM
Hi all,

Since I know so little about Sikhism, I thought it would be nice to have a sticky on Sikhism compiled by Sikh members of this forum. I am going to get a beating on this; but I am going to go on a limb and state what I think I have understood from my personal limited exposure to Sikhism and from posts in this forum. This could be corrected/modified/extended as needed, to create a final version of the sticky. So, here we go.

1. The Tat Khalsa* sect recognizes Guru Granth Sahibji as their only spiritual text. It is 1430 pages long and has 5867 hymns in it. These verses were contributed by the Sikh Gurus and, various Hindu and Sufi saints. In addition, some sects also recognize the Dasam Granth, which is a 1428 pages long book composed by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singhji as their sacred text. Hindu deities and scriptures also form part of the venerable traditions of yet other sects.
2. Sikhism has a lineage of 10 dedhari (Hindi, deh-dhari - embodied) Gurus, starting with Guru Nanak . All are believed to be One Jyot (God Consciousness). The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh merged his Jyot into the Adi Granth to give Guru Granth Sahibji, the eternal Guru.
3. The Tat Khalsa Sikh service consists of singing of hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib by a Granthi. They are set to North Indian classical music ragas. After the recitation, a brief meaning of the hymns is provided, followed by closing prayers. The food for distribution placed by the side of the Guru Granth Sahib during the service becomes prasad by kirpan - a holy kirpan placed by the side is dipped into each food item. Other sects have singing of bhajans as part of their service.
4. In the North American Gurudwaras, the weekly Sunday service starts between 10:00 AM and 12 noon and lasts about one and a half hours. It is followed by prasad (halwa) distribution and a langar - communal meal. In India, depending on the size of the Gurudwara, the langar is served once a week, once a day, after the service, or all day long - need verification/correction on this.
5. Before entering a gurudwara, everyone is expected to cover his/her head, and keep it covered as long as one is in the presence of the Guru Granth Sahib.
6. The Guru Granth Sahibji proclaims one God (better explanation needed). The Tat Khalsa sect forbids murti puja and the practice of caste system and there are no images of their gurus in the Gurudwara. (References from the Guru Granth Sahibji needed). Other sects have no prohibition on images or murtis for puja. Even the service is conducted differently with the singing of bhajans and use of other instruments besides the traditional harmonium and tabla; presence of Guru images, muratis and images of Hindu deities also form part of the sanctum.
7. Religious ceremonies for Happy events, like marriage, are conducted in the morning hours and for sad events in the afternoon/evening.
8. Link to Guru Granth Sahibji: http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=1&ab_line=t
9. Things I missed???

* For a brief history of the evolution of the Sikh shrines and other sects, please read the post on Sikh Sabhas Demystified

darshansingh
16 August 2010, 11:15 AM
Great Work Believer.

I would recommend slight edits.
1. The Granth was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev (5th Guru), by organizing the verses of 5 gurus, hindu and sufi saints and some poets (bhatt). The verses are organized in chapters of Raga. The tenth Guru added verses of 9th guru and proclaimed the granth to be eternal guru.
2. Another aspect of one jot is that there is no difference in Guru Nanak or Guru Gobind.
3. The sikh service in gurudwara usually comprises of Kirtan, Hukamnama and Ardas. All the three can be performed/delivered by anybody from the sangat. Granthi usually performs some of it. Granthi is just a caretaker of gurudwara; and is not essential. He is not go-between of congregation and God.
Also Rather than "Indian Classical Raga", hindustani raga would be better; because Carnatic is another Indian Classical Raga system.
4. Most gurudwaras, where they have granthi, are open all days. In North America, in north CA, NY, Toronto; BC, the services also happen all the days. In other places depending on the size of community, services happen once or twice a week. Most places the services start at 10:00 am on sunday.
5. Actually, head has to be covered at all times in a gurudwara; but some gurudwaras only implement it for Kirtan Hall
6.The definition of God can be taken from Mool Mantra - The first verse of Guru Granth Sahib.
God:
http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0&Param=1
Idol Worship: (5th line of the page)
http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0&Param=739
Caste System: (search for caste in the page)
http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0&Param=349
7. I am not aware for such distinction. All marriage do happen in the morning. Actually, true sikhs ( 0.1% of the those who call themselves sikh :-) ) can't consider any event to be sad; as all happens by the will of God; and will of God is always right.
8. Another searchable weblink:
www.sikhitothemax.com
9. Sikhs are not supposed to modify the God given body. So cutting hair and piercing are forbidden ( though many who call themselves sikhs cut their hair; and not many are aware of piercing aspect). Most men wear a turban; and some women also wear it.
10. Amrit - All sikhs are expected to take "Amrit" after which they need to:
a. Keep 5 Ks at all times - Kesh, Kadaa, Kachha, Kangha, Kirpan
b. Do Nitnem everyday which means read 5 banis in the morning and 2 in the evening (takes about 45 minutes + 20 minutes)
c. Do charitable contribution - equal to 10% of their earnings.
11. Gender - There is no distinction between male and female for performing any service in gurudwara and any task at home or battlefield. God is neither He or She. Its the limitation of english that translators choose "He".

Adhvagat
09 April 2011, 06:37 PM
Hello guys, I can see a lot of similarities of Sikhism and the rest of Hinduism easily.

I'd like to focus on the differences, Some sects of Sikhism don't approve murti puja, but those who forbid still recognize Hindu deities? Is that right?

I was curious about their philosophical view regarding God, can it be compared to other types of Hindu monisms or pluralisms?

sky95
10 April 2011, 01:44 AM
The essence of Sikhism is very much similar to Hinduism.


9. Sikhs are not supposed to modify the God given body. So cutting hair and piercing are forbidden ( though many who call themselves sikhs cut their hair; and not many are aware of piercing aspect). Most men wear a turban; and some women also wear it.

I don't understand why the Guru Granth Sahib tells a Sikh to do things such as this, when it has its roots in Bhakti & Meditation. Surely, cutting ones hair would not prevent Moksha if ones bhakti/meditation is really what matters. A lot of these rules, such as the 5 K's where implemented into Sikhism later on I think, but Guru Nanak(founder of Sikhism) and Kabir never bothered with this as far as I know.

satay
10 April 2011, 01:09 PM
Namaste,


A lot of these rules, such as the 5 K's where implemented into Sikhism later on I think, but Guru Nanak(founder of Sikhism) and Kabir never bothered with this as far as I know.

No, the 5 K's were implemented by Guru Gobind Singh, the founder of Sikhism. 'Sikhism' didn't exist at the time of Guru Nanak. He was adopted as the first Guru of Sikhism later after Gobind Singh officially created a new religion.

sky95
10 April 2011, 06:22 PM
Namaste,



No, the 5 K's were implemented by Guru Gobind Singh, the founder of Sikhism. 'Sikhism' didn't exist at the time of Guru Nanak. He was adopted as the first Guru of Sikhism later after Gobind Singh officially created a new religion.

Hi.

Yes, that is what I meant by 5 K's being implemented later on, since the previous Guru's never mentioned it. Sikhism has its roots with Guru Nanak, no? I was under the impression Guru Gobind compiled it all together and gave it an offical name.