Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion which came into existence in 15th century AD. It was founded by Shri Guru Nanakdev in Punjab in India. Later it propagates under the auspicious guidance of nine gurus who were successors of Guru Nanakdev. Guru Nanak was born in Rai Bhoi di Talwandi now called as Nankana Sahib and is now in Pakistan.The holiest book is Guru Granth Sahib also termed as eleventh Guru. It contains the teachings of all sikh gurus.
According to Shri Guru Nanak Dev, "Realization of truth is higher then anything else. Still higher is truthful living." Sikhism says that God is timeless, shapeless and sightless. Sikh call Him 'Vahe Guru". God is symbolized as Ik Onkar. God is omnipresent and only can be seen by awakened eyes. Meditation is very much encouraged in Sikhism. Guru Nanak believed in revealation through meditation. Hymns of Gurus is termed as Gurubani. Singing Gurubani is called as Shabad Kirtan. Guru Nanak says that 'rebirth is a result of karma but one can attain salvation through meditation and grace.' He also established the Langar concept and preached that this is important to bring equality and sense of sharing among people. Tenth Guru Gobind Singh also stressed the need of Shakti or power and so in 1699 AD, Khalsa panth was established by him. Khalsa is the concept of Saint Soldier.
Highest seat of Sikhism is Akal Takhat at Shri Harminder Sahib in Amritsar also called as Golden Temple.Amritsar was founded by 4th Guru Ram Das. Sikh empire was established by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but after his death in 1839, the empire fell in disorder. Shri Ram Das compiled the teaching of Guru in Adi Granth and later 10th Guru Gobind Singh added the hymns of Guru Teg Bahadur and thus final version of Guru Granth Sahib was compiled. It is in Gurumukhi script. It also contains teachings of Sant Kabir, Baba Sheikh Farid, Ravidas etc.
The main festivals celebrated are Guru parabs related with the lives of ten gurus,Baisakhi, Hola Mohalla, Bandi Chorr when Guru Hargobind ji was released from jail in 1619 AD. There are five things which khalsa sikh has to wear all the times. These are Kirpan ( a short dagger), Kangha or comb, Kara ( an iron bracelet), Kesh (the uncut hair), and a Kachhera (undergarment) . These are also termed as 5 K's. Guru Granth Sahib was declared the Guru by tenth Guru Gobind Singh at the time of his death. Sikh can be easily recognized by the turban they wear.
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