What is Sikhism?

Discussion in 'Sikhism' started by iBrian, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Sikhism is a tradition that I know very little about. I've read about the various symbols of Sikhism, and encountered something of the history (Amritsar, etc).

    However, I have no real idea what Sikhism stands for as a religious belief, and how it compares to other religious traditions. I am open for educating. :)
     
  2. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    and Sufism

    I am also curious about Sikhism, and also how this differs from sufism.

    lunamoth
     
  3. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    I studied the holy writ (being as respectful with the preparations as I knew how) and I'm still not clear on the doctrine. I know after September 11th I had to hold back several idiots to keep them from getting smacked around by Sikhs simply because they believed turban equaled terrorist.
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,


    for your edification:

    A progressive religion well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the worlds 5th largest religion. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

    http://www.sikhs.org/topics2.htm
     
  5. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    I hate to jump directly to hostile questions, but I've heard that Sikhism denounces superstitions and ritualism, even while the mode of dress and protocols to reading the Granth seem at odds with this.
     
  6. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I have to admit, I did wonder at that statement, too - though I guess the notion of "blind" ritual is the heart of the question and answer. :)
     
  7. Avinash

    Avinash New Member

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    Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised! Now I understand why I got 100% Sikhism the first time I took the 'what's your religion test'. :)
     
  8. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

    Yeah, first time I was told about Sihkism, I thought, where do I sign up. But then like most faiths, I figured I'd just read the holy writ and try to see how it could help me. I'm wary as a westerner looking to 'gurus'. Good stuff, though!
     
  9. Avinash

    Avinash New Member

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    Namaskar,

    I visited their Golden Temple and museum at Amritsar once and helped to carry the Holy Book to its "bedroom" from the island in the lake (sunset time) but don't know very much about the philosophy. They suffered a lot of persecution from the Muslim rulers of the time according to the many bloody scenes on the paintings in the museum.
     
  10. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    My paltry understanding is that Sikhism was the result of the meeting of Islam with Hinduism. The definition sounds like Hinduism without the giggery-pokery.
     
  11. sikhphilosophy

    sikhphilosophy SPN *****istrator

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    What is Hinduism ? Can you define ?
     
  12. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    No. Hence the confusion with Sikhism.
     
  13. Avinash

    Avinash New Member

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    Namaskar,

    Found this intro on the ReligiousTolerance site:

    >>>>No consensus exists on the origins of this religion. Historians and specialists in Eastern religions generally believe that Sikhism is a syncretistic religion, originally related to the Bhakti movement within Hinduism and the Sufi branch of Islam, to which many independent beliefs and practices were added.

    Some Sikhs believe that their religion is a re-purification of Hinduism; they view Sikhism as part of the Hindu religious tradition.

    Many Sikhs disagree; they believe that their religion is a direct revelation from God - a religion that was not derived from either Hinduism or Islam.

    Sikhism does contain many unique postulates and principles that are quite different from both Hinduism and Islam. Joseph D. Cunningham (1812-1851), the author of "A History of the Sikhs" (1848), observed: "It has been usual to regard the Sikhs as essentially Hindu... yet in religious faith and worldly aspiration, they are wholly different from other Indians, and they are bound together by an objective unknown elsewhere.">>>>

    I find the mentioned connection to Bhakti and Sufism very interesting. Does this mean that Sikhism is a mystic re-purification of Hinduism?
     
  14. sikhphilosophy

    sikhphilosophy SPN *****istrator

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    Fateh Ji,

    I am posting the same article, I just posted for replying the thread "Sikhism and Islam" elsewhere in this forum... it should be usefull...

     
  15. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    well, a lot of religions denounce superstitions and ritualism, whilst apparently creating their own. so it is probably more correct to say that sikhism denounced a certain set of superstitions and rituals that were current at the time of the gurus, whilst attempting to reform religious practice somewhat - of course, to a modern western eye their own practices could seem vulnerable to such accusations. but then again, western critical thought doesn't seem to understand category systems that come from outside itself, although anthropology does its best - and is often at pains to dismiss what are considered superficial or illogical observances, whilst ignoring their deeper significance.

    as i understand it, guru nanak was trying to stop the internecine hindu/muslim conflict of the indian subcontinent and sikhism was the result. this means that he was neither a hindu nor a muslim but was trying to reflect the best in both systems. either way, he was clearly trying to unify people and for that he is to be praised and remembered.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  16. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    ...a practice which is common through to today, notably in the example of Sai Baba, the one with the 'fro.
     
  17. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Good point.
     
  18. ISFP

    ISFP New Member

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    i'm glad to see a Sikhism forum here at last. :)

    i was wondering, could someone give an outline of the basics of Sikh belief? i understand that Sikhs believe in one God, reincarnation, and the equality of men and women. but i don't understand much more beyond that, or the nuances of what i've listed.

    thank you.

    ISFP
     
  19. KnightoftheRose

    KnightoftheRose New Member

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    Ok, here are just some random points about the Sikh religion:

    God is all-pervasive, much like the Brahman of Hindu belief. So, while we can't see it, all souls, and all of existence, while somehow independant (the explaination for that tidbit takes to long, and I'm lazy :)), are a part of God.

    The Sikhs believe that the soul - because of this connection with God - is naturally good; it's the human's ego which brings about evil.

    Love is the central focus of this religion - God's love, much like in Christianity. Courage is also especially honored.

    The Guru is the central spiritual figure of Sikhism, and God is considered the One True Guru - their Holy Book is the Adi Granth, which is of similar importance to them as it is to Christians the Bible (I hope that made sense :p).

    As you said before, they believe in reincarnation - however, they share a belief similar to other eastern religions that they can sort of merge with God upon death, if they walk the right path (though, those other eastern religions call God something else...)

    They believe one can come in contact with God via meditation.

    They believe God has manifested himself in many forms, thus creating many other religions.

    Blah, those are the main points of Sikhism that I can pull off the top of my head. A rather fascinating religion, actually...one of my favorite eastern ones ;)

    Anyways, later...
     
  20. ISFP

    ISFP New Member

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    thank you, Knight. just a personal note, some of what you've described sound Hindu in nature (reincarnation, understanding of God's nature) and some sounds a bit like the Bahai faith (e.g. God manifesting himself/his message in many forms over the ages).

    look forward to reading other threads in the Sikhism forum.
     

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