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Sikhism

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Sikhism is a religious and cultural movement based on the teachings of the Indian Guru Nanak (1469-1539 CE).

The teachings of the Muslim Kabir and the spread of mystical Sufism in Northern India laid the groundwork for this new religion, which originally hoped to synthesize Islam and Hinduism.

Sikhism currently emphasizes the oneness of God and unity of all faiths. For some, this is a self-evident stance. For others, it’s a kind of flawed homogenization of many different types of religion.

It is believed that a succession of 10 gurus (Nanak and his nine successors) has spread the word of the true guru–namely, God. Thus the religion is described as monotheistic.¹

The last Sikh guru died in 1708.

The sacred scripture of the Sikhs is called The Adi Granth, itself often referred to as a “guru.”

Sikh culture is highly distinctive; most choose to wear a turban within and beyond the borders of their Punjab homeland.

As with other world religions, the noble ideals of Sikhism are at times undermined by extremists, as evidenced by clashes at the holiest site of sacred pilgrimage, the Golden Temple.

English: The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) a...

English: The Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

¹ Toronto Catholic Archbishop Michael Collins once said, talking with a Sikh leader (with others present) on a televised interfaith dialogue, that Catholicism is not about a “glow” but rather, about serving God. This critique seems somewhat misguided as Sikhs are all about following God, setting up charities, etc. However, what I think the Archbishop might have been alluding to is the idea that, for some, the Holy Spirit differs in numinous quality from that of other numinosities. This point is almost impossible to demonstrate to those who don’t really have an eye for numinosity. To others, the difference is as plain as day.

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2 thoughts on “Sikhism

  1. So much could be added. Let me just say that ‘headdress’ should be turban.

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  2. Thanks very much for your comment. The term used was headgear. Several web sites describe the turban this way. But I agree that ‘turban’ is better as it’s more precise. Feel free to add more to this or any other entry. Appreciated.

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