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Table of Contents
Sikhism is a religion in India which emerged in the 16th century and was founded by Guru Nanak Dev at the height of intolerance between the Hindus and Muslims. Today, it is the world’s fifth largest religion, with over 30 adherents worldwide.
See the fact file below for more information on the Sikhism or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Sikhism worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY OF SIKHISM
- Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak Dev, who was born on October 20, 1469, in the village of Talwandi, located in today’s Pakistan. Nanak was the first of the ten Sikh gurus.
- When he was 28 years old, Nanak came back from a meditation near the river and uttered “There is no Hindu and no Muslim.” Since then, he began to explore the world of religion and did missionary work to teach Sikhism in all parts of India, Arabia, Persia, and Mecca.
- After his long missionary journey, Nanak settled in Kartarpur, which is located in Punjab, and taught for 15 years.
- From 1469 until 1708, the ten Gurus established Sikhism. Like Buddhism and Jainism, these gurus are not regarded as divine figures, but rather as enlightened teachers.
- Among the gurus are Nanak Dev, Angad Dev, Amar Das, Ram Das, Arjan Dev, Hargobind, Har Rai, Har Krishnan, Tegh Bahadur, and Gobind Singh.
- By the time of the second Sikh, Guru Angad Dev, a script composing of 62 hymns (Gurbani) in Punjabi language was inscripted and would later be included in one their sacred texts. During the third guru, the first pilgrimage, or annual gathering of believers, was introduced along with rituals on birth and death.
- Guru Ram Das established the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. It was a golden temple surrounded by a lake dug by its followers.
- The holy scripture of Sikhism, Guru Granth Sahib, was collected by Guru Arjan Dev.
- By the time of Guru Hargobind, a guru both became a spiritual and military leader.
BELIEFS, CUSTOMS, AND TRADITIONS
- Part of their belief is to keep their hair uncut and covered in turban. Sikhs presume that it is part of living in harmony with God.
- They wear kara or steel bracelet that represent their unity with God. Moreover, men and women worship in holy places called gurdwara. Upon entering all should remove their shoes, while women are expected to cover their head.
- The Golden Temple of Sikhs is located in Amritsar, India.
- It is usual for Sikhs to have communal meals after each service.
- Sikhs believe that God is the Ik Onkar, or one constant. Furthermore, the Gurmukhi script dictates that God has no gender and is without form.
- The last guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, created the ritual of Khalsa. Khalsa is a form of spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood devoted to purifying thoughts and actions. Its material representation is through wearing the 5 Ks – Kesh, Kangha, Katchera, Kirpan, and Kara.
- Their sacred scripture is not merely texts but a compilation of devotional poetry with most set to music.
- The Khanda is the universal symbol of Sikhism. It is a double-edged sword flanked by two daggers, which represent the worldly and spiritual powers attained by oneness with God.
- A manifestation of equality among men and women in Sikh society is that women did not have to change surnames after marriage. All male and female Sikhs bear the last name Singh or Kaur.
- A Gurdwara has four doors symbolizing Door of Peace, Door of Livelihood, Door of Learning, and Door of Grace. Despite the rigid caste system in India, during the earlier times, all members of any caste were welcome to enter any door in Gurdwara.
- Lust, greed, anger, worldly attachment, and pride comprised the five cardinal vices in Sikhism.
- Adherents of the Sikh faith are expected to do selfless service including Tan (physical service), Man (mental service), and Dhan (material service).
- The Sikh flag, also known as Nishan Sahib, is a saffron-colored triangular cloth usually made of silk. It is often mounted on a long steel pole near the entrance of Gurdwara. Nishan Sahib is among the most important ritual object in Sikhism.
- Unlike many other religions, Sikhs do not believe in religious rituals and superstitions. They support that being honest and caring with one another can bring oneness with God.
- Like other Indian religious traditions in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, Sikhs believe in the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Moreover, they share the concept of karma as a judgement on a person’s quality of life.
- They focus on achieving liberation and union with god through scriptures, good deeds, and idols. Moreover, they credit that there is God inside every person, no matter how wicked he or she is.
- The three duties of Sikhism are sum up in three words: pray, work, and give. Nam japna is keeping God in mind at all times, Kirt Karna is about living honestly, and Vand Chhakna is giving charity.
- The holy days in Sikhism include the celebration of Diwali, Hola Mahalla, Gurpurbs, and Vaisakhi.
- Diwali is the festival of lights that every Hindu, Jain, and Sikh celebrate in India. It is the time for Sikhs to celebrate the release of the sixth guru from prison in 1619. As part of the celebration, houses, businesses, and worship places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called Diyas.
- Hola Mahalla is a day to commemorate the military exercises of Sikhs first held by Guru Gobind Singh. Today, they partake in mock battles, martial arts parade, and poetry reading. The celebration follows the Hindu festival of colors, Holi.
- Gurpurbs are dates related to the celebration of the life of Sikh Gurus, like birthdate and martyrdom.
- New Year Sikh festival is celebrated as Vaisakhi. It also commemorates the date when Guru Gobind Singh transformed Sikhs into a family of soldier-saints.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Sikhism across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Sikhism worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Sikhism which is a religion in India which emerged in the 16th century and was founded by Guru Nanak Dev at the height of intolerance between the Hindus and Muslims. Today, it is the world’s fifth largest religion, with over 30 adherents worldwide.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Sikhism facts
- Knowing Sikhism
- Religious India
- Truth About Sikhism
- The Five Ks
- Sikhism in Letters
- The Three Duties
- I’m Telling the Truth!
- The Five Vices
- Sikh Festivals
- Status of Women
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Use With Any Curriculum
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