Saturday, August 21, 2010

What is a "Sikh"

And why do I care?  1) A large part of my DH's life was spent in India. 2) Via marriage, I now have a Sikh relative. 3) I am curious (nosey)! 4) Knowledge can defeat fear!

The Nishan Sahib, flag of the Sikhs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A Sikh (English pronunciation: /ˈsiːk/ or /ˈsɪk/) is a follower of Sikhism

Sikhism (Sikhi in Punjabi) primarily originated in 15th century Punjab region of India and now constitutes one of the major religions with adherents throughout the world. 

The term "Sikh" has its origin in the Sanskrit term śiṣya, meaning "disciple, student" or śikṣa, meaning "instruction". The sikh is a disciple of the guru.

According to Article I of the "Rehat Maryada" (the Sikh code of conduct and conventions), a Sikh is defined as "any human being who faithfully believes in One Immortal Being; ten Gurus; the teachings of the ten Gurus and the baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru; and who does not owe allegiance to any other religion". 

Sikhs believe in the Equality of Mankind, the concept of the Universal Brotherhood of Man and One Supreme God (Ik Onkar).

The greater Punjab region is the historic homeland of Sikhism. The Sikhs refer to themselves as the Sikh Quam or Nation.


The basis of the religion is on the union of the soul with god. The thought process and actions on the world plane are to be so that veil of the five evils (lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego) are dispelled and the soul can be united with the creator. The cycle of reincarnation is broken by this union.

The basis of Sikh lifestyle need is:  meditate on the holy name (Waheguru), work diligently and honestly, and share one's fruits. The guiding principles of Sikh faith are Truth, Equality, Freedom, Justice, and Karma.

Non-Sikhs can partake fully in Sikh prayer meetings and social functions. The Sikh daily prayers include the well being of all of mankind.

Sikhism can be considered as one of the truly universal religions. 

The opening hymn of the holy Guru Granth Sahib expounds the nature and attributes of god:

There is one supreme eternal reality; 
the truth; 
immanent in all things; 
creator of all things; 
immanent in creation. 
Without fear and without hatred; 
not subject to time; 
beyond birth and death; 
Known by the Guru’s grace.

Sikhs are required to not renounce the world and aspire to live a modest life. Seva (service) is an integral part of Sikh worship, very easily observed in the Gurdwara

Visitors of any religious or socio-economic background are welcomed. Langar (food for all) is always served. It is another way to break the caste system, serving people of all origins with same food, sitting together at same level on floor.

Protecting the religious and political rights of all people and prevention of discrimination is an integral part of the of Sikh faith. The martyrdom of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji 9th Guru to protect Hindus from religious persecution, in Delhi, on 11 November 1675 AD, is another example of upholding minority religious freedom.

Lovely!  Sounds parallel to the teachings of Jesus (as I was taught them). 

Oh, I did some condensing of what was in Wikipedia for brevity. If you want to know the whole, check it out.

Rose Sanderson (LOC)

Rose Sanderson

"Women's suffragists demonstrate in February 1913. The triangular pennants read "VOTES FOR WOMEN". The negative is labeled "ROSE SANDERSON", the woman holding the trumpet. An adjacent photograph in the series (LC-DIG-ggbain-12482) contains a flyer labeled "COME AND WATCH SUFFRAGE SPREAD" that identifies the event as one sponsored by the National Suffrage Association."

Thanks Wikipedia for the words and Library of Congress for the picture!