Unit 2: Religions that Originated in South Asia

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1 Unit 2: Religions that Originated in South Asia

2 Sikhism originated in the Punjab region of India around the 16 th century CE Sikh means disciple or one who is devoted to a religion The founder was a man named Nanak Founding

3

4 Life of Nanak Raised as a Hindu but lived in an area dominated by Muslims Disappeared for 3 days when he reappeared he claimed he had been brought to the court of God He was told by God that there was no Hindu or Muslim, but just one true religion This religion became Sikhism

5 Began preaching the essential unity of Islam and Hinduism Like Hinduism Life of Nanak One supreme and formless God who is beyond human comprehension Accepts the concept of reincarnation Like Islam Accepts the concept of one God (called The True Name by Sikhs) Rejects the caste system, the practice of worshipping images/idols, and the authority of the Vedas Maybe an attempt to reconcile his Hindu religion with what he sees as the nobleness of Islam

6 Life of Nanak

7 Historical Development of Sikhism Nanak was the 1 st of 10 gurus or teachers or leaders Gurus =??? The 5 th guru, Arjan Dev (1581 to 1606 CE) Begins the compilation of the most important Sikh sacred scripter called the Adi Granth The 10 th guru, Guru Gobind Singh (1666 to 1708CE), announces that he is the last guru Adds to the Adi Granth and the updated version is called the Guru Granth Sahib (or Collection of Sacred Wisdom) Ever since has been revered by the Sikhs as their living Guru

8 Arjan Dev and Guru Gobind Singh

9 Historical Development Guru Gobind Singh Extended his name Singh (meaning lion or lionhearted ) to all Sikh men Called for Sikh women to use the name Kaur (meaning princess ) Originally Sikhs were known as pacifists but at this time in history they were being persecuted by both Hindus and Muslims Guru Gobind Singh called for Sikh men who were willing to commit their lives to defend their religion

10 Historical Development The Khalsa This is the name given to the collective body or community of Sikhs Represented by the five-beloved ones or the first 5 Sikh men who stepped forward to defend the Sikh faith These Sikh men (and all Sikh men who followed them) were required to adopt the wearing of the 5 K s

11 Historical Development The 5 K s Kesh uncut long hair wrapped up under a turban Belief that clean, uncut hair (including facial hair) was a sign of virility But it was also believed that thick hair and a turban could offer some protection against a glancing blow to the head Kanga a small wooden comb Used twice a day by Sikh men to promote cleanliness and order but also used to bind up their hair under their turban

12 Historical Development The 5 K s Kara an iron bracelet Symbolizes that all Sikhs are perpetually bound to God and to each other. Also represents the cycle of reincarnation Originally these bracelets were bigger and could be used as defensive weapon Kachera baggy shorts worn under the outer clothing To ensure a Sikh man was always ready for battle and to allow complete freedom of movement when fighting Also symbolizes self-respect and mental control over lust

13 Historical Development The 5 K s Kirpan a small dagger To ensure a Sikh man is always prepared for battle Also symbolizes a Sikh man s responsibility to come to the aid of someone in peril or to protect the weak and innocent

14 The 5 K s

15 Beliefs Sikh Beliefs and Practices There is one God the True Name The True Name is the creator of the universe Human s are God s greatest creations Rejects the teaching of ahimsa Sikhs are able to kill and eat animals People can be reincarnated Sikhs believe in karma and that one can be reincarnated again and again until release by the True Name Example

16 Sikh Beliefs and Practices Practices The goal of all Sikhs is to seek salvation through a union with God by realizing, through love, the Person of God who dwells in the depths of their own being

17 Sikh Beliefs and Practices Practices Sikhs do not practice asceticism or celibacy They earn a living for their family and donate 10% of their income to charity A Sikh s religious life tends to be simple One becomes a Sikh through a type of baptism not just from being born into a Sikh family A bowl of sweetened water is stirred with a dagger The water is sprinkled onto the person being baptized while he/she is instructed in the rules and beliefs of the faith

18 Sikh Beliefs and Practices Practices Daily rituals include an early morning bath, the reading of hymns and recitations of prayers. At night another ritual of hymns and prayers is performed. Worship Sikhs gather for worship at temples called gurdwaras The central object of worship is a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib (or updated Adi Granth) Prayers are made to the Granth, then some hyms, then a sermon, and then concludes with a communal meal called a Langer The Langer symbolizes that all are equal

19 Langer

20 Sikh Beliefs and Practices Worship There are no Sikh priests and group worship is led by any member of the community There are no caste or gender differences involved in worship practices An object of special attention to Sikhs is the Takht (throne) of Sikhism at Armritsar in India The Golden Temple at Armritsar, while not a required pilgrimage, is visited by many Sikhs during their lifetime

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22 Sikhism Today There are about 19.1 million Sikhs worldwide Most live in the Punjab but there are sizeable communities in Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia The Sikhs are a minority religious group in India and at times they have felt persecuted. There are some Sikh groups who want to establish an independent Sikh nation in the Punjab

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