Why you will be studying these beliefs and concepts

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1 The Big Picture What you will be studying In this topic you will be addressing: 1 What the Mool Mantar says; look at the Ik Onkar symbol; one God (Waheguru, Wonderful Lord ) 2 The purpose of life, qualities necessary to know and reach God 3 The three golden rules and life lived according to hukam, 4 Why the Panj Kakke (the five Ks) are so important in Sikh belief and practice 5 Who the Sikh Gurus are and how they influence Sikh belief and practice today 6 What the purpose of life is for Sikhs and what qualities are needed to reach God 7 What samsara, karma and mukti are. Ideas explored during these lessons cover: The balance of simran with sewa The lives and teachings of the Ten Gurus, especially Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji The concepts of naam japna, kirat karna and vand sanskar Khalsa. You will also think about the way in which these beliefs affect the life and outlook of Sikhs today. Why you will be studying these beliefs and concepts because these core Sikh beliefs underpin and are reflected in other aspects of Sikh practices (such as in the importance and role of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the gurdwara and langar) because understanding Sikh beliefs can help you understand why Sikhs think and act as they do because understanding Sikh beliefs will help you to compare and contrast what others believe, including thinking about your own ideas/ beliefs. How you will study these beliefs and concepts by researching and selecting information about these core Sikh beliefs, explaining their importance to Sikhs today thinking about the relevance of Sikh beliefs in the 21st century by evaluating your own views about these Sikh beliefs. 2 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 2 29/4/09 10:50:35

2 The Big Picture Topic starter Show the class the picture of Nishan Sahib. Explain its symbolism and its significance for Sikhs. Development Nishan Sahib Compare and contrast this central Sikh symbol with a central symbol from another religious tradition, such as the Jewish Star of David or the Christian cross. How do such symbols show you what adherents believe? What is this statement trying to say and do you agree with it or not: Symbolism is the language of religion. Plenary Complete the topic self-assessment sheet from page 00. With a partner, discuss your responses, reflecting on what you have learnt, and think about how you might improve your learning further. By the end of the topic you should be able to agree with the statements below. AO1 I can use some basic information to give a simple description of some core Sikh beliefs. I can show a simple understanding of these core beliefs and how they might affect some of the things Sikhs think and do. I can show an in-depth understanding of how these core beliefs affect some of the things Sikhs think and do. I can use some relevant information to give an outline description of some core Sikh beliefs. I can show clearly that I understand how these core beliefs affect some of the things Sikhs think and do. I can give a detailed and well evidenced description of some core Sikh beliefs. I can select some relevant material to develop a clear description of some core Sikh beliefs. I can show a broad understanding of how these core beliefs affect some of the things Sikhs think and do. AO2 I can express an opinion, giving a reason, about what I think about more than one of the core Sikh beliefs we have studied. I can express my opinions about more than one of the core Sikh beliefs we have studied, supported by relevant evidence and drawing on what others think. I can state clearly and in depth what I, and others, think about more than one of the core Sikh beliefs we have studied, well supported by relevant evidence. Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 3 29/4/09 10:50:35

3 Lesson focus 1.1 What is the Mool Mantar and what does it tell us about Sikh beliefs about God? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore what the Mool Mantar says, especially how it shows what Sikhs believe about God. Make links between these beliefs and ideas and what others, including yourself, think/believe about God. Starter Display the Ik Onkar symbol and explain that this is a symbol that shows something of what Sikhs believe about God. Give each student a post-it note. On the post-it, ask students to quickly write down one thing they believe or think about God. Divide the class into groups of 10 to 12, and give each group a large piece of paper on which to display their statements. Each group look at their statements and organise them into whatever categories they think best reflects what people have said. (These will be revisited later in the lesson.) Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that the Ik Onkar comes from the beginning of the Mool Mantar (the statement of belief which opens the Guru Granth Sahib Ji) and was written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Give out copies of Worksheet 1.1. Use this as a basis for explaining what the Mool Mantar says about Sikh belief about God and ask students to complete the activities on it. Plenary Give each student another post-it note (a different colour from the first one). Ask them to write down one thing that they have thought about or changed their mind about during the lesson as far as belief in God is concerned refer to the learning outcomes as appropriate. In the same groups they were in for the starter activity, students add their post-it notes to their group sheet. Ask the groups to think whether any of the second notes fit into any of the categories already decided on and whether any new categories have come to light. Each group appoints a spokesperson who sums up in no more than two sentences their group s thinking about belief in God. Homework/extension task 1 A local gurdwara has asked you to produce a PowerPoint presentation for visiting Key Stage 3 students, explaining the Mool Mantar and what Sikhs believe about God. (You could use Word or Publisher for this task, or you could write it by hand.) 2 Think about what you know of what another religion teaches about belief in God. Compare and contrast these ideas with those expressed in the Mool Mantar. (Less able students might be given a framework like the one below to help gather their information and ideas.) Sikh belief (Mool Mantar): Two similar ideas: Other religion belief: A different idea: What I think is... 4 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 4 29/4/09 10:50:35

4 Worksheet 1.1 What is the Mool Mantar and what does it say about Sikh belief about God? THE MOOL MANTAR There is but one God, Who is the Truth, The Creator; without fear; Without hate; immortal Without form, beyond birth and death, Self illumined, Understood through God s grace. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1) Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, taught that there is (1) one God, who is above birth and death, who has always and will always exist (i.e. is (2) eternal and immortal). The Mool Mantar, the opening verses of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, defines God as (3) Karta Purkh (the creator), (4) Akal (beyond death and birth), (5) Murat (formless) and (6) Satnam (the truth). ACTIVITIES 1 Copy out the English translation of the Mool Mantar above and use six different colours to highlight where you find these ideas about God in it. The Gurus taught that God can be addressed in any respectful manner, by any name and in any language, provided the meaning of the term used is One Almighty God and not any human being or object in this world. Your names are countless, O Lord. I do not know their end, but of one thing I am sure, that there is not another like you. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1010) Common names used by Sikhs when speaking of God are Satnam the True Lord, Waheguru the Wonderful Lord (teacher) and Akal Purakh the Eternal Reality. 2 Using a table like the one below (add as many rows as you need to), make notes about how each of these popular names for God helps Sikhs think about what God is like. Include something of your personal response in each column. Satnam True Lord Waheguru Wonderful Lord (teacher) Akal Purakh Eternal Reality For Sikhs, God is neither male nor female but a spirit that pervades the universe. Pronouns such as he or him for God are sometimes used because of the difficulties of translating into English, and not to suggest that God might be male. The Mool Mantar also expresses the important Sikh belief that God can only be understood through God s grace (i.e. through God s undeserved favour). 3 Think about it and talk with a partner. 4 How would you try to describe your beliefs, thoughts or ideas about God? Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 5 29/4/09 10:50:36

5 Lesson focus 1.2 What else does Sikhism say about God? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore further the characteristics of God for Sikhs and think about how they believe God is known in the world. Make links between these beliefs and ideas and what others, including yourself, think/believe about God. Starter Display a tick, a cross and a question mark. Read out five of the statements from the table below, then ask students to think about each and then stand by the sign that most closely represents their response (tick = agree, question mark = not sure and cross = disagree). Tell them that you will be asking students at random to say why they chose to stand where they did. God exists. God is neither male or female so you should avoid using pronouns (e.g. he ) when speaking about God. God created the world and everything in it. There is only one God. God has no beginning and no end, God is eternal. There is no need to prove the existence of God God just is. God can only be known through God s underserved favour. God is beyond human beings but also very close to human beings. The human soul is a spark of God s immortal soul. God is truth to know God is to know what is true about and in the world. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Ask someone to read out (or recite from memory if they can) the Mool Mantar. Through class discussion, summarise briefly what it teaches about Sikh belief about God. Explain that this lesson is going to explore some other aspects of Sikh belief about God. Distribute copies of the cards on Worksheet 1.2, enough so that each group of three or four can have a set. These contain ten statements about what Sikhs believe about God and how that might affect what they think and do. A member of each group reads each card out loud to the rest of their group. After each one, the group should think carefully about what it is saying and decide how to summarise it so that by the end of the lesson they have ten key sentences showing what Sikhs believe about God. Plenary Select a group s statements and display them to the class. Work through the sentences, the other groups either agreeing that each one is a good summary or offering their own version if they think they have a better one. By the end of the plenary you should have an agreed class list which needs to be copied so that all students can have a copy of it given to them in the next lesson. Homework/extension task What do Sikhs believe about God? In around 750 words, outline some key Sikh beliefs about God and how these might impact on how Sikhs live. Draw on what you have learnt about the Mool Mantar and in this lesson. 6 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 6 29/4/09 10:50:36

6 Worksheet 1.2 Belief in the existence of God is a must in Sikhism. The learner (Sikh) believes that God can be known but God is not known personally to him/her. It is for the Sikh to study the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and follow the Gurus teachings to learn about God. Sikhs believe that God is the creator of all things. Creation evolved slowly: from air came water and from water the lower forms of life that led to the development of plants, fish, birds and animals, then the creation of human beings. God is not born and therefore does not die. God is beyond time, the eternal reality. No person is God and nor is God a person. God does not come to earth in human form, occasionally or uniquely. God is within (sargun) and without (nirgun) immanent and transcendent. God is very close to the creation, personally and directly available to everyone, and yet is also beyond the power of human understanding. God is Truth and the source of all truth. The Gurus pass truth to the people through their teachings. The gift of truth comes to the deserving. Sikhs must live according to these teachings. They must speak the truth, act the truth and think the truth. Believing in God means that a person s attention is drawn to God s qualities (love, justice, charity, tolerance, wisdom, truthfulness). When a believer meditates on God s qualities they can unconsciously imbibe (absorb) some of these traits. Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught that there are innumerable other worlds beyond this one. He wrote that only God knows the greatness of creation. Before creation, God was in abstract meditation (sunya samadhi = state of contemplation of the void). The Gurus taught that there is no basis for assuming the permanence of the world. God alone, who created and sustains this limitless universe, has the power to end it. It came through God s will and will disappear when God wills it. God is without fear or enmity. God sustains and cares for everyone, whether they believe in God or not. Equally, God does not have any favourites. The Gurus never felt the need to prove the existence of God. They regarded God as ever present. Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 7 29/4/09 10:50:36

7 Lesson focus 1.3 What are the three golden rules for Sikhs and how do they point Sikhs to living according to God s will (hukam)? Learning outcomes This is a series of three lesson that will enable you to: Explain the key concepts of naam japna, kirat karna and vand sanskar as providing Sikhs with a framework for daily life. Offer your own views about these key concepts, giving reasons for your responses. Starter Display the following quotation to the class: There can be no worship without performing good deeds. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4) As a class, discuss what this means. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. From Worksheet 1.3, use the chart and top part of the text to explore and stimulate responses to the key Sikh concepts of naam japna, kirat karna and vand sanskar as well as introducing some other key Sikh terms sewa, mukti, haumai and hukam. Return to the quotation from the starter activity. In the light of what has been learnt/considered during the lesson so far, do students want to change or add anything to the discussion? Set up the research activity to be conducted in pairs or groups of three over the remainder of this lesson and the next lesson. Students could be given a free choice of resources, or you could provide research materials for them to use. (The third lesson will consist of groups making the presentation and being assessed by the teacher and their peers see page 00.) Students begin the research task, drawing on material provided by the teacher. Plenary Each group gives a brief progress report about what they have discovered so far highlighting anything of interest and saying quickly what they think their priorities will be for the next lesson. Lesson 2 in this series of three should be used for continuing the research with the teacher checking progress and drawing the class together periodically to make points that are relevant to the group. A useful plenary in the last ten minutes of the lesson would be to return to the quotation: There can be no worship without performing good deeds. Ask: In the light of what we have been researching, can you explain why the three golden rules of Sikhism are so important and how this text from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji links to these concepts? The final lesson in this group of three provides an opportunity for students to present their work to the rest of the class and for them (and the teacher) to assess the effectiveness of the presentation using the peer assessment sheet from page 00). Depending on the size of the class, this may move into another lesson. Ensure that students notes taken during the presentation, supplemented by textbook reading and teacher notes, have all addressed each of the three golden rules of Sikhism. 8 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 8 29/4/09 10:50:36

8 Worksheet 1.3 What are the three golden rules for Sikhs and how do they point Sikhs to living according to God s will (hukam)? They taught that Sikhs cannot separate their religious life from their family, social, political and economic life. Sikhism teaches that life is a spiritual journey and the path of mukti (liberation) is open to all through getting rid of haumai (ego) and living life according to hukam (God s will). The three golden rules point the way to a life lived according to hukam, and all three have equal importance. This means that, for example, nam japna is useless if Sikhs do not practise the teachings from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji while they are earning their living. In the same way, kirat karna is useless if Sikhs are selfish and forget about those who are less fortunate than themselves. Similarly, vand sanskar is of no use unless Sikhs remember and meditate on God s qualities. Vand sanskar sharing with others less fortunate. Linked with sewa. Helps a Sikh get rid of haumai and make spiritual progress. Naam japna remembering God. Meditating on the qualities of God described in the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Remembering God at all times improves character. Kirat karna earning one s living by honest means and hard work. Work is noble: work hard and take a fair profit; use wealth for a decent living without being materialistic. ACTIVITIES 1 In a pair or group of three, research the meaning of one of these important Sikh concepts and how it impacts on Sikh life and practice. a Nam japna. How do Sikhs practise meditating on God s name and how do they believe that reflecting on God s characteristics helps them to be better people and live better lives? b Kirat karna. Make a list of jobs that Sikhs might consider honest. What jobs might not be considered honest? How does kirat karna show Sikh belief in practice? c Vand sanskar. Why is remembering those less fortunate so important to Sikhs? How and why do Sikhs practice sewa? What forms does sewa take? Explain how the langar is a focal point for sewa. 2 Devise a PowerPoint presentation to summarise your findings (up to ten slides, with illustrations and/or diagrams). You should have it ready to present by the beginning of the third lesson. While others are making presentations you will be expected to take notes of key points and to fill in a peer-assessment sheet that your teacher will give you. 3 After the third lesson, answer at least three of the questions below for homework. I found the research hard/about right/easy because... I worked very well/ok/not very well in my pair/group because... One thing I enjoyed was... One thing I found difficult was... One thing I would do differently is... Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 9 29/4/09 10:50:36

9 Lesson focus 1.4 Why are the Panj Kakke (the five Ks) so important in Sikh belief and practice? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Express understanding about the importance of the Panj Kakke as symbols of Sikh belief and practice. Offer your own ideas, and listen to and evaluate others points of view, in response to learning about them and their importance to Sikhs. Starter Display the statement: What you wear says something about who you are. Students consider this for one minute. Without discussing it, they note down a couple of examples in support of this statement. Next, students share their examples with a partner and choose the one that they think is the best. Pairs now form groups of four, share their examples and choose the one that they think is the best. Finally, groups share their preferred example with the rest of the class. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain how the Panj Kakke are ways in which the Sikh community has announced its identity since the time of Guru Gobind Singh. Check that the students know the correct names of each of the Panj Kakke and explore with them the symbolism of each one use books, pictures and artefacts. Organise the class into three broad ability bands for the following individual writing task, which should take around 20 minutes to complete with the level of detail required. Higher ability: give a detailed description and explanation of the significance of the Panj Kakke for a practising Sikh. Middle ability: the Panj Kakke are important symbols of faith and identity. Explain what they are and why they are so important to Sikhs in the practice of their religion. Lower ability: using the writing frame on Worksheet 1.4, describe what the Panj Kakke are and say why they are important to Sikhs in the practice of their religion. Place students from the different ability bands into mixed-ability pairs. Each students should now explain to their partner the work they have done and what they learnt from it they can read out parts of it as applicable. Plenary Display the statement: I think it is important to wear religious symbols to show others what you believe. Ask for a show of hands to indicate whether students agree/disagree/are not sure about the statement. Ask one or two to say why. Homework/extension task Think of three key questions to ask a Sikh about the Panj Kakke and their importance to their faith and practice. Write them out, and under each one make some bullet-pointed notes showing how you think a Sikh might answer it. Students should be prepared to share their questions and possible answers in the next lesson. 10 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 10 29/4/09 10:50:36

10 Worksheet 1.4 Why are the Panj Kakke so important in Sikh belief and practice? The Panj Kakke are important in Sikh belief and practice because they are symbols of... and.... Sikhs wear them to show their devotion to God. Each is symbolic. Kesh is.... It stands for... Kangha is a.... It stands for... Kara is a.... It stands for... Kachera are.... They stand for... Kirpan is.... It stands for... These symbols are important to Sikhs today because Sikhs began wearing the five Ks following the request of Guru... (Baisakhi, 1699 CE). He also said that all Sikh men should take the name Singh ( lion ) and all Sikh women the name Kaur ( princess ). This shows the importance of... within Sikhism because undershorts identity uncut hair belonging sword steel bangle equality wooden comb Gobind Singh Ji Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 11 29/4/09 10:50:36

11 Lesson focus 1.5 Who are the Sikh Gurus and how do they influence Sikh belief and practice today? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Develop understanding of the role and importance of the Sikh Gurus. Analyse the influence of the Gurus on Sikh life today. Make links between the importance of the Gurus for Sikhs and people or things that have a great influence on you. Starter Display the statement below, along with a picture of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. If possible, have some reflective music playing quietly in the background. I believe that the Gurus teaching comes directly from God. Therefore I need to take note of it and try to live my life following it. Ask students to sit quietly for two minutes, thinking about who or what they take notice of and why. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Distribute copies of Worksheet 1.5 and as a class, read the information boxes surrounding the picture of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. After reading each box, ask a student to explain in their own words what it means or say something it made them think about/consider. After reading all the boxes, ask students, in their own words, to write down three sentences summarising what Sikhs believe about the Gurus and their teaching. Explain how Guru Gobind Singh Ji said that there were to be no more earthly human Gurus but that the Guru Granth Sahib Ji was to become the living Guru in their midst. The Sikh scriptures therefore became the focal point for Sikh life, worship and decision-making. The Gurus teaching influences Sikh life today in terms of: worship treatment of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, use in worship the concept of equality (at the heart of Sikh belief and practice) decision-making using teaching contained in Guru Granth Sahib Ji to guide about how one should live. Activity 1 from the worksheet allows students to express their understanding of the role of the Gurus for Sikhs. Plenary Read out two or three of the students scripted conversations from Activity A. Ask two or three students to say one thing they have learnt or that the lesson has made them think about. Homework/extension task Students carry out Activity 2 from Worksheet Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 12 29/4/09 10:50:37

12 Worksheet 1.5 Who are the Sikh Gurus and how do they influence Sikh belief and practice today? 1 All of the ten Gurus, and the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, are equally important. It is important to show equal respect to them all. 2 Each Guru carries on and builds upon the teaching of the previous Guru each shares Guru Nanak Dev Ji s spirit. 3 We are told that the Gurus are to be revered (treated with respect), but not worshipped. As Sikhs we only worship God. 5 When I bow in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, I am showing respect for the Holy Granth, the Gurus and God s message for humanity. 7 The Gurus teaching is based on the belief that everyone is equal. If everyone is equal, then everyone should be treated with equal respect. 4 The Gurus were special people who were sent for the special purpose of giving God s message to humanity. 6 Listening to and taking part in reciting the words from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a very spiritual experience and a privilege. 8 I believe that the Gurus teaching comes directly from God. Therefore I need to take note of it and try to live my life following it. THE TEN GURUS AND THE PERIOD OF THEIR LEADERSHIP Guru Nanak Dev Ji ( ) Guru Angad Dev Ji ( ) Guru Amar Das Ji ( ) Guru Ram Das Ji ( ) Guru Arjan Dev Ji ( ) Guru Hargobind Ji ( ) Guru Har Rai Ji ( ) Guru Har Krishan Ji ( ) Guru Teg Bahadur Ji ( ) Guru Gobind Singh Ji ( ) ACTIVITIES 1 Your friend thinks that Sikhs venerate the Gurus in the same way that Christians worship Jesus or Hindus worship Shiva or Durga. Drawing on what you have learnt in this lesson, script a conversation between you and your friend, correcting their mistake. 2 One of the greatest influences on my life so far is.... Write a paragraph, an acrostic poem or a haiku in response to this statement. Make it clear what the impact has been on you in your life so far. Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 13 29/4/09 10:50:37

13 Lesson focus 1.6 What is the purpose of life for Sikhs and what are the qualities needed to reach God? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explain the purpose of life according to the Sikh Gurus. Explore the qualities necessary for a Sikh to acquire to know and reach God. Offer your own views about these ideas giving reasons for your responses. Starter Ask students to sit quietly for a couple of minutes listening to the sohila (the Sikh evening prayer which is also used at funerals; available at Display an English transliteration of it for students to follow. Discuss: funerals are as much about life as they are about death. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Use the six key points from Worksheet 1.6 as a basis for explaining and discussing Sikh beliefs about the purpose of life and how mukti can be attained. Individually, students make a note of the meaning of the terms: samsara, haumai, maya (illusion), sewa, simran, gurmukh, manmukh and mukti. Display definitions of these words and ask students to say which word the definition belongs to. Students make any necessary alterations to their own definitions in the light of this class activity. Students complete activities 1 and 2 from the worksheet. (You will need to refer back to the sohila heard in the starter activity and show the English transliteration again.) Students work through activity 3 from the worksheet. Students begin to plan their pamphlets explaining Sikh beliefs about life and death (they will complete these for homework). Plenary Give each student three cards: one green, one yellow and one red. Read out five statements like the ones below, and ask students to show a green card if they agree with it, yellow if they are not sure and red if they disagree with it. Human beings are purely physical: they do not have a soul or spirit. Once you die, that is it there is no afterlife of the spirit. The soul goes through countless cycles of birth and death. The purpose of human life is to become one with God. How you live in this life affects your next life. Ask a few students to explain why they have held up the card they have. Homework/extension task Students complete activity 3 from the worksheet. They should bring their pamphlet to the next lesson and be prepared to show it and explain its contents. 14 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 14 29/4/09 10:50:37

14 Worksheet 1.6 What is the purpose of life for Sikhs and what qualities are needed to reach God? KEY POINTS Sikhs believe that: Humans owe their existence to hukam (the will of God) and that to be born human is a privilege, as it is an opportunity for the soul to progress to liberation from samsara (which Sikhs usually refer to as transmigration of the soul or the cycle of life and death ). Sikhs see life is an opportunity to strive to submerge their individual personality with God. The individual has acquired human form after innumerable cycles of birth and death. Human beings must aim for spiritual evolution in order to be free from samsara. The body must be sustained because it is the house of the soul. The soul is immortal as it is a part of the immortal God. God and the individual soul are one and the same, but humans see themselves as separate entities because of haumai (egotism). When the wall of haumai is broken, humans realise their identity with God. Humans can miss the opportunity to meet God, as a result of their haumai. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji says that where there is haumai there is no God, and where there is God there is no haumai. Sikhs believe that haumai is present in panj chor (five vices): kam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (favouritism) and ahankar (pride), which lead to maya (undue worldly attachment = illusion). Sikhs can get rid of haumai through sewa (selfless service), simran (remembrance of God) and through living in the world and earning a living by honest means and discharging social responsibilities with patience and humility. In other words, a Sikh is to practise the three Golden Rules of naam japna, kirat karna and vand sanskar. A person who follows the rules taught by the Sikh Gurus is known as a gurmukh, while a person who follows their own will and ignores God is known as a manmukh. By meditation on God and a life spent in conformity with the Guru s teachings, a Sikh can obtain mukti, which is liberation through unity with God. Individual consciousness then ceases and there is no further pain or misery. ACTIVITIES 1 On your own, think about these questions (make brief notes if this is helpful): a Do you believe that human beings have a soul? Why? Why not? b What is egotism and how does it show itself in human behaviour? c What happens when someone dies? Is there existence before birth? Why? Why not? 2 In a group of four: a Talk about your ideas. Which of your ideas are the same? Which are different? How do your beliefs compare with the Sikh beliefs outlined above? b Read through the sohila (the Sikh evening prayer used at funerals that you heard at the beginning of the lesson). How might it comfort the family and friends of the deceased person? 3 Split your group of four into two pairs: Imagine that a local gurdwara has asked you to produce a pamphlet (up to eight sides of A5) to help young people aged 9 to 14 understand Sikh beliefs about life and death. Draft the areas you will cover, check these with your teacher and then produce the pamphlet. It can include illustrations and symbols. Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 15 29/4/09 10:50:37

15 Lesson focus 1.7 What are samsara, karma and mukti? Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explain what a circle of death and birth is, according to Sikh teachings. Explore what karma is and how a Sikh can obtain mukti. Offer your own views about these ideas, giving reasons for your responses. Starter Display the words samsara, haumai, maya, sewa, simran, gurmukh, manmukh and mukti (recap from Lesson 1.6). Ensure that students understand what each one means. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that this lesson will focus on the key concepts of samsara, karma and mukti. Ask for a definition of karma. Display pictures of waves along a shore and a full moon (available on the internet). Ask students to describe the relationship between them. Explain that when scientists see a connection between two facts, they try to show a cause-and-effect relationship. The cause explains why something happens; the effect describes what happens. For example, why does the tide move towards and away from the shore? How does the moon affect this? The answer is that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the moon and tides. Ask students to give other examples from their learning in science. Tell students that cause and effect are also important in thinking about religious and moral issues. Explore the idea of actions having consequences what are the consequences of breaking rules at school or at home? Give students the following scenario: A friend asks you to tell their parents that they are staying with you overnight when really they are going to a club with their girl/boyfriend. They are underage. In small groups, students think about what might happen if they lie for their friend and what might happen if they don t. What would be the best thing to do? Share ideas with the class. Talk about actions that would bring good or bad karma for a Sikh. Use Worksheet 1.7 students can complete the tasks individually or with others. Plenary Discuss: You don t have to be religious to know what is right and wrong, but religion influences adherents in making their decisions about right and wrong. Homework/extension task 1 Devise a scenario where a Sikh has to make a decision whose consequences could be good or bad karma what will they do? 2 a What do Sikhs believe about the cycle of life and death? b How might Sikhs work to achieve release from samsara? c Name some actions that might produce good karma for a Sikh and actions that might produce bad karma. Say why they would result in good or bad karma. d Religious people have no reason to fear death. Do you agree or disagree? Why? 16 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 16 29/4/09 10:50:37

16 Worksheet 1.7 What are samsara, karma and mukti? SAMSARA Transmigration of the soul or the cycle of life and death life is an opportunity to strive to return to God, and to submerge the individual personality with God. KARMA the concept of cause and effect, action and reaction is the law of karma. It affects how a Sikh should live past karma (good or bad actions) has determined the present life, and similarly behaviour in the present life will determine the nature of the future life. karma does not mean that everything is pre-ordained and that humans have no free will. A person carries their past karma in the form of character. Guru Nanak Dev Ji wrote, The record of my deeds cannot be effaced because God has recorded them, but humans have freedom to choose and to change karma can be changed by living a truthful life, as taught by the Gurus and by the grace of God. judgement is a continuous process. After death the soul appears before God and its future is decided on the basis of actions while in the world. It may be reborn or obtain some temporary respite, or may remain in the presence of God if its development is complete. MUKTI Liberation through unity with God individual consciousness ceases and there is no further pain or misery. ACTIVITIES 1 Devise a diagram like the one shown here to show the relationship between samsara, karma and mukti, making notes about the key beliefs. karma mukti samsara 2 a Draw up a table like the one below and list five actions that you think are good and five that you think are bad, giving reasons. Good actions... because... Bad actions... because b Would a Sikh agree or disagree with what you have put in your lists? Why? c How do you know what is right and wrong, good or bad? Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 17 29/4/09 10:50:37

17 GradeStudio Lesson focus To practise answering AO2 style examination questions. Learning outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Practise exam-style questions. Become familiar with AO2 skills. Starter Read out the statements below and ask students to indicate their response using a thumbs up (agree), thumbs down (don t agree), thumbs horizontal (not sure). I believe that God exists there is only one God actions in this life affect what happens after death your soul or spirit goes through many lives worshipping God is essential to human life and well-being all religions are paths to God. Development Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that understanding the level descriptors is vital to securing a good mark in the examination. This lesson will help to achieve this for AO2 questions. Focus on the importance of looking carefully at the question and supporting opinions with reasons and evidence. The highest marks will also show that answers have taken account of other viewpoints. Students should be given a copy of the Assessment Objective statements from the Mark scheme of the specification. In pairs ask them to read and discuss the difference between a Level 1 and a Level 4 response. Examination question Belief in God within (sargun) and without (nirgun) immanent and transcendent is central to Sikh understanding of God. Do you agree? Give reasons and evidence for your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view. [12 marks] Ask students to discuss the question in pairs and jot down some ideas about how they might respond to it. Give students a copy of the Grade Studio worksheet. Students should work individually, using the worksheet to help them to answer the examination question by building up their response. Ask students to read and mark a partner s work using the level descriptors, discussing why they think the writing is at a particular level and how it could have been improved. Plenary Share a couple of examples of work produced during the lesson, and ask a student who has marked a piece of work to explain why they gave it the grade they did. Encourage the rest of the class to discuss whether they agree or not. 18 Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 18 29/4/09 10:50:38

18 GradeStudio Worksheet Name: Class: Examination question Belief in God within (sargun) and without (nirgun) immanent and transcendent is central to Sikh understanding of God. Can God be both immanent and transcendent? What do you think? Give reasons and evidence for your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view. [12 marks] The table below will help you to build up your response to this question. The examples are there to help you you don t have to copy them try to think of your own way of expressing the response, using the framework provided. Introduction to your answer: Write one sentence showing you understand what the question is asking you. For example: This question focuses on... and asks me to substantiate my opinion with reasons and evidence. Sikh religious views: Write up to four sentences showing that you understand what is meant by the terms sargun (immanent) and nirgun (transcendent). For example: Sargun (immanent) means that God is.... This is an important idea for Sikhs because... Nirgun (transcendent) means that God is.... This is an important idea for Sikhs because.... Your opinion: State your opinion and how it relates to Sikh belief about the immanence and transcendence of God. Give at least three reasons for your view and explain them in detail. For example: I agree/disagree with the idea of God being both immanent and transcended because.... Another reason I want to put forward is... because.... A third point I want to make is... because.... Alternative views: State alternative views. Why might someone agree or disagree with you? Try to use different reasons if possible, for example: I understand that other people may agree/disagree with me because.... Conclusion: Restate what you think, and draw your answer to a close, for example: In summary, I conclude Religious Studies A: Sikhism Pearson Education Ltd Sikhism.ch01.indd 19 29/4/09 10:50:39

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