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SIKHISM. Mandeep Singh Bawa GAISS Equity Education Director. Who are the Sikhs?. Agenda. Origin of Sikhism What is a Sikh? What is a “Guru”? Birth of Sikhism & the 10 Gurus Birth of the Khalsa & The “5 Ks” Sikh Beliefs The Guru Granth Sahib Gurdwara & The Golden Temple

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Mandeep Singh Bawa GAISS Equity Education Director

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Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

SIKHISM

Mandeep Singh Bawa

GAISS Equity Education Director


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Who are the Sikhs?


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Agenda

  • Origin of Sikhism

  • What is a Sikh?

  • What is a “Guru”?

  • Birth of Sikhism & the 10 Gurus

  • Birth of the Khalsa & The “5 Ks”

  • Sikh Beliefs

  • The Guru Granth Sahib

  • Gurdwara & The Golden Temple

  • Importance of Identity

  • Sikh Dastar (Turban)

  • Dastar Bandi & Anand Karaj

  • Sikhs in North America


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Origin of Sikhism

CHINA

IRAN

INDIA

AFGHANISTAN

PAKISTAN

INDIA


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

What is a Sikh?

  • Sikh means “Student” or “Disciple”

  • Sikhism is world’s 5th largest religion, after Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism

  • 26 million Sikhs worldwide

    • 20 million in India

    • 1 million in North America

  • 99 % of the people wearing TURBANS in America are Sikhs


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

What is a “Guru”?

  • Guru means “Spiritual Enlightener”

    • The term GURU implies descendant of divine guidance to mankind sent from God.

    • Literally translated: GU–means darkness and RU means light.

    • Thus, “Guru” means the Light that dispels darkness. Therefore, Guru Nanak was the embodiment of divine light.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Birth of Sikhism

  • Guru Nanak Dev Ji – 1st Guru

  • Born in 1469 during a time when:

    • Rich exploited the poor

    • Women had no role in society

    • Land divided by religion

    • Caste system prevailed

  • Guru Nanak founded Sikhism based on equality and justice for all and taught us that all human beings regardless of skin color, wealth, caste, and gender are created equal.

“Truth is high; still higher is

truthful living” - Guru Nanak Dev Ji


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Guru Nanak Dev ji’s Principles

  • Naam Japo: Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times (ceaseless devotion to God).

  • Kirat Karō: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud.

  • Vand Chakkō: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need.

    These principles became the FOUNDATION of Sikhism.


The 10 gurus

The 10 Gurus


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

The 10 Gurus

  • Guru Nanak Dev ji – Founded Sikhism

  • Guru Angad Dev ji – Introduced new alphabet known as Gurmukhi Script, started langar

  • Guru Amardas ji – Embodiment of Seva (service)

  • Guru Ramdas ji –Built the holy city of Amritsar

  • Guru Arjan Dev ji – Compiled Guru Granth Sahib, built Golden Temple, First Sikh Martyr

  • Guru Hargobind ji – Miri (Temporal Strength) and Piri (Spiritual Strength)

  • Guru Har Rai ji – Opened Free hospitals for those in need,

  • “…man breaks flowers with one hand and offers them with the other, but the flowers perfume both hands alike. The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe.” – Guru Har Rai Ji


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

The 10 Gurus

  • Guru Har Krishan ji – Devoted his life to helping the sick

  • Guru Tegh Bahadur ji - Championed religious freedom, martyred while fighting for religious freedom

  • Guru Gobind Singh ji – Created Khalsa (comes from the Persian word “khalis” meaning “Pure”),

    A splendid Divine Light shone in the darkness of the night. Pir Bhikan Shah, a Muslim mystic performed his prayers in that Easterly direction (instead of towards the West, contrary to his daily practice), and guided by this Divine Light, he traveled with a group of his followers until he reached Patna Sahib in Bihar, India.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

‘Birth of the Khalsa’

  • During the spring of 1699, the Guru called his followers for a special gathering. Symbolized a revitalization of the Sikh identity and the evolution of the Sikh community into saint-soldiers. After initiating the five "beloved ones" into the new order of the Khalsa, the Guru knelt before them and requested that they initiate him.

  • Gave the names Singh (“Lion”) to men and Kaur (“Princess”) to women.

  • Khalsa Sikhs identified with the 5 K’s.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Articles of Faith

5 K’s – mandatory articles of faith

  • Kesh - Uncut hair: Sikhs do not cut hair or beards to remain in the image that God gave us.

  • Kachera - Under-shorts (boxers) to represent modesty and fidelity (virtuous character)

  • Kanga - Comb, made of wood - to keep uncut hair neat and clean.

  • Kara - Bracelet, made of steel worn on right hand –a reminder of noble actions, a symbol of eternity.

  • Kirpan - Ceremonial small blunt knife symbolizing freedom, liberty and justice.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Khanda

The Khanda: is the double edged sword that represents God’s power, the circle is for continuity, the two outer swords for spiritual and political balance.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Sikh Beliefs

  • There is One God for all of creation, a

    loving Creator attainable through the Grace

  • Goal is to be one with god

  • Selfless service towards the entire Creation

  • Truth, fearless, non-hateful spirit are

    important in attaining salvation

  • Absolute equality of humanity

  • Defenders of social and spiritual justice

  • Living a moral, truthful and hardworking existence

  • Humility and loving action

  • Defending the rights of the downtrodden and oppressed

  • Bhai Kanhiya

  • pioneer of the Red Cross & humanitarian aide organizations


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Guru Granth Sahib ji

  • “Guru” means “Spiritual teacher”who dispels the ignorance.

  • “Granth” implies a ‘Scripture containing divine knowledge’.

  • “Sahib” is added as a mark of respect, which literally means “The Master” or “The Lord”.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Guru Granth Sahib ji

Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru declared Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the eternal Guru and ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs.

Guru Granth Sahib -

  • the Sikh Scripture is purely monotheistic

  • 1430 pages

  • The Gurus’ Experience of the Divine

  • Also included were a few hymns from Hindu and Muslim saints who believed in ONE God

  • The main teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib are cultivating a real personal devotion to God, fostering compassion and service for people who are poor or suffering, and promoting equality and seeking harmony among all human beings

  • The central theme of the Guru Granth Sahib is concerned with the creation of a just social order and the commitment to social and gender equality and peaceful coexistence


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Gurdwara – Place of Worship

  • The Sikh religious service follows the traditions started by the 1st Guru to promote equality and alleviate suffering. It has 3 components:

  • Sangat: Community prayer through readings from the Guru Granth Sahib and singing of hymns (Kirtan).

  • Pangat: A sense of equality with everyone seated on the ground - at the same level.

  • Langar: Community vegetarian meal for all.

  • Protocol to be observed in the Gurdwara:

  • Heads covered

  • Shoes removed

  • Sit on floor

  • All are WELCOME


Gurdwara place of worship

Gurdwara – Place of Worship


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

The Golden Temple

  • The Golden Temple is the most sacred of places for the Sikhs.

  • To enter one has to descend stairs – teaches humility.

  • There are doors on all fours sides, which signifies that people from all over the world are invited irrespective of caste, color, religion, and race.

  • 24/7 Langar.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Sikh Dastar (Turban)

  • Mandatory – not a social or cultural article.

  • Covers long, uncut hair.

  • Approx. 15 feet of cloth wrapped neatly around the head.

  • Boys wear ‘patka’ .

  • Symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility, and spirituality.

  • Middle East head coverings different.

  • 99% of people wearing TURBANS in US are Sikhs, not Muslims or Hindus.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Types of Turbans


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Sikh Dastar (Turban)


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Importance of Identity

  • Sikhs feel severely humiliated if asked to remove their turban in public, as this breaks a sacred covenant with god and exposes an intimate part of the body.

  • It is very insulting and disrespectful to a Sikh to remove his or her turban.

  • Turbans are a mandatory part of Sikh faith.

  • A turban is not a hat. It cannot be casually taken on and off. It must be carefully retied each time it is removed.

  • Treat the turban with respect.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Dastar Bandi

  • A very important and exciting event in the life of a Sikh boy comes when he starts tying the turban (Usually between 10-14 years of age).

  • Family will have a special function to celebrate the occasion, which is called Dastar Bandi.

  • The boy is is seated in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji and an elder ties the turban on his head.

  • Prayers are said to invoke Guru's blessing for the boy.


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Anand Karaj

The Sikh marriage is called 'Anand Karaj' which means the ceremony of joy. The Sikh wedding is held in the morning in a Gurdwara in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

One Soul in Two Bodies

"They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies."(Guru Amar Das Ji, Pauri, pg 788, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji)


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Sikhs in North America

  • Arrived around late 1890’s

  • Places

    • California, Oregon and Washington

    • British Columbia

  • Farming & Lumber Industry

  • Immigration Barriers by 1920’s

San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 1899

Vancouver Diamond Jubilee 1897 Hong Kong Regiment


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Some Sikh Public Faces

Gurbax Singh Mahli

First Turbaned Sikh in

Canadian Parliament

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Indian Prime Minister

Baltej Singh Dhillon

First Turbaned Sikh in

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Narinder Singh Kapani

Father of Fiber Optics

T Sher Singh

Recognized with the

Order of Canada


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Some Sikh Public Faces

Nuvraj Singh Bassi

University of Oregon

Football Player

Colonel Sekhon

United States Army

Amrit and Rabindra Kaur

Artists

Bhagat Singh Thind

US Army 1912


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

Respect for All

  • Equality of all religions and people

    • Give relevance to God rather than religion

    • Believers of interfaith diversity

  • Sikhism believes that there are many paths to God. Anyone can achieve salvation irrespective of the religion that they follow if they endear God in their heart and daily actions


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

References

  • SikhiWiki (www.Sikhiwiki.org)

  • SikhNet (www.sikhnet.com)

  • All About Sikhs (www.allaboutsikhs.org)

  • Sikh Council USA (www.sikhcouncilusa.org)

  • GAISS (www.guruangadinstitute.org)

  • UNITED SIKHS (www.unitedsikhs.org)

  • SALDEF (www.saldef.org)

  • Sikh Coalition (www.sikhcoalition.org)


Mandeep singh bawa gaiss equity education director

ONE GOD IN ALL


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