The monotheistic religion (believing in one god) known as “Sikhism” was originated in India in the province of Punjab comprising the part of present Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sikhism is eminent as one of the youngest religion of world.
Guru Nanak, born in 1469 was the initiator of this religion .He began his journey of reality and truth by probing several Hindu holy places as well as the sacred site of Muslims. His curiosity instigated him to reveal the certainty and value of this world. For years India had been under the influence of Hindus but was subjected to Muslim rule when Guru Nanak was born. Therefore, these two religions mainly influence him and were the source of inspiration for him. His aspiration was to seek harmony in the world by merging the best values of these two faiths.
He started experiencing revelation at the age of 38 and then he started to communicate those messages of God to the common person in the form of hymns. These hymns are considered as sacred and sung by the Sikh community. The essence of his teachings are reflected through his hymns which is that humans have to accept the existence of God, believe in His supremacy and must contemplate on spiritual matters, religious and on philosophical subjects. Guru Nanak had nine successors, the last living Guru, Gobind Singh was in 1708. He declared that the succession process is going to end after him and that now the ultimate responsibility is vested to Sikh community and Holy Scripture that is Guru Granth Sahib. The famous hymn of Guru Granth Sahib known as “Mool Mantra” is about the only God, Who is the supreme truth. He is never born nor is He going to die for rebirth. He is illuminated by his own. By his blessing God is revealed to the human soul. And truth is in existence from ever and will be forever.
Guru Nanak acknowledged the Hindu belief of rebirth and endless cycles of creation and recreation. Sikhs believe that self-interest, selfishness, and materialism and concerns for the worldly things are the source of all evils.
According to the teachings of Sikhism, Human is born for merging with the ultimate reality that is God. Purpose should be more sacred and wider than just to attain something like a wish to have paradise as a reward of worship .One is responsible for his family and life because fulfilling one’s responsibility is a way through which one can reach the ultimate destiny of faith. In order to attain the universal equality the tenth Guru Gobind Singh, affirmed that all supporters and followers should change their names: Singh (or lion) for men, and Kaur (or princess) for women.
Holy Scripture of Sikhism is “Guru Granth Sahib” which is also known as “Adi Granth” and is entitled as current principle of Living Guru for Sikh religion. It represents the teachings of ten Gurus, whose teachings are source of guidance. Since after the Guru Nanak “Guru Granth Sahib” has underwent various developmental changes. Guru Arjan Dev compiled Guru Granth Sahib and it consists of hymns & quotes of earlier gurus of Sikhism and saints belonging from Hindu and Muslim faith. The languages used in the scripture are Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi and Punjabi. It is imprinted in “Gurumukhi” script that is alphabets conformed for Punjabi linguistics
Sikh religious practices include their ceremonies, festivals, their life style that includes their attire and worship in temple or shrine. At the age of puberty, there is a ritual of initiation which is called “Amrit”, and it was started by the last living Guru in 1699. In this ritual one vows to adapt Sikh principals of life set by Guru Gobind Singh. By vowing one becomes Khalsa, which means that one belongs to God. One has to strictly follow the rules that are abstinent from alcohol and other intoxicants; there is a prohibition on cutting hairs of any part of the body, there is also a prohibition on eating sacrificial animals, illicit sexual relations and it is necessary for Sikhs to wear five symbols of Sikhism. The follower of these practices is considered to be a true believer of this faith.