Sikhism and Modern Society
Sikhs are an order of people called Sikhs who were created to spread the teachings of their religion, known as ” Sikhism “or Sikka ikhs ikat”. The word “Sikhs” originates from the word “Sikhi” which means “to spread knowledge”. Sikhs are strictly prohibited from participating in all forms of violence and hate speech. They strictly abhor all violence of any sort irrespective of gender, caste, creed or status. Sikhs were created to spread the true message of “turbidities” or duality of both Hinduism and Islam.
Sikhism or Sikkais is a Dharaic religious faith that originated in the Punjab area of the Indian subcontinent about the third century of CC Partition. Sikhism is amongst the earliest of world religions and the fifth largest organized religion of the world, having approximately 25 million Sikhs at present. Sikhism considers men and women to be “Sikhs” (when they have been declared so by a temple) without performing any ritual of “sikhs”, wearing a turban as a symbol of submission to the Sikh religion, and being physically present at all times during religious ceremonies. It is believed that the Sikh Gurus had foreseen all this and had decreed that when a Sikh dies he returns to his family and relatives and not to the “world”. Thus, Sikhism was created so that after his death his body is not buried in graveyards or cremated. Instead, it is taken to a temple where it is washed, cared for, fed, and given away as a gift to the poor and homeless.
Sikhism was created as a response to the increasing numbers of crimes against Hindus in India and abroad as well as the caste-based discrimination meted out to Sikhs in the Hindu religious courts of India. There were also instances of thefts, desecration of temples, and attacks on temples and mosques by Hindu radicals and elements of RSS. With the passage of time, various other religions such as Jainism, Buddhism, and Islam started to gain popularity. The main concept of Sikhism however, remained a testimony to the fact that the Gurus had preached against such actions, violence, and discrimination against people on the basis of caste, creed, color, or religion.
Some of the significant texts in Sikhism include the Akbar’s List, Charaka Samhita, Tadhana Chandani, Guru Gobind Singh’s diary, and the writings and sermons of Hazrat Kalwant Singh. Some notable personalities who are prominent votaries of sikhs include Raja Sawai Jaitley, Jigneshwar Thada, Baba Sehgal, Amrit Jussim Dadhichhar, Babu Shatru, and Balwant Dass under the banner of sikhs. There is no doubt that Sikhism has been enriched by these religious zealots and icons. Today, there are several hundred temples for Sikhs in Punjab alone which show how deep the roots of Sikhism have penetrated into the society.
Sikhism is the third largest faith after Hinduism and Islam. It is also known as Patwa or Sikhism, a religion founded by Guru Gobind Singh and his son Akbar, as it was then called. Sikhs believe in a deity called the Lord Brahma, who is the supreme god who governs all the five elements (air, earth, water, fire and metal) and who is the manifestation of God within the human form. A Sikh is considered to be following only one guru, thus making him or her a practitioner of only one religion in total. This is in contrast with the followers of other religions who adhere to multiple gods and goddesses.
Unlike the other four main religions of India, Sikhism believes that a Sikh is not bound by the ceremonies and rituals of his or her parents or family. The Gurus had warned Sikhs against adopting ritualistic practices, such as the wearing of the chakra, that deviate from the teachings of their Gurus. Instead, the Sikh should conduct his or her spiritual rites in a spirit of meditation and worship. Sikhism believes that the five sikhs – Sikh father, Sikh mother, Sikh brothers and Sikh sisters – are the divine temple beings, who are worshiped by the Sikh. They have no limitations and are believed to possess limitless energy. Sikhs consider themselves to be separate from the religion’s corpus or followers, whom they regard as the creation of God.
In addition, Sikhism upholds the concept of ‘janbandh’, which involves a period of fasting during which the devotee renounced all worldly pleasures in order to shed excess weight and become penitent. Since the Gurus had forbidden Sikhs from performing any human actions during this period, Sikhs believe that by eating food they can atone for their evil deeds in the past. Although the term ‘jagna’ does not exist in the Sikh vocabulary, it is an essential part of their spiritual beliefs. Similarly, the Sikh religion abhors the use of red meat and alcohol, and every Sikh man and woman strictly follows the five grains diet (day), which has been prescribed by the Sikh Gurus.
Finally, the Sikh clergy and their dresses are considered sacred in the Sikh religion. The turban, which is the crowning glory of Sikh men and women, is the most cherished article of clothing for both men and women. However, Sikhism discourages the wearing of facial hair (chakra). Women are also required to keep their heads covered (musta sharruka), except in the case of an important Sikh role such as a temple priest or a Sikh soldier.