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RS 390: SIKHISM – AN OVERVIEW PowerPoint Presentation
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RS 390: SIKHISM – AN OVERVIEW

RS 390: SIKHISM – AN OVERVIEW

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RS 390: SIKHISM – AN OVERVIEW

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  1. RS 390: SIKHISM – AN OVERVIEW Doris R. Jakobsh

  2. THE TEN GURUS OF SIKHISM

  3. SIKHISM: HISTORICAL SOURCES • Sikhism is the newest of the major world religions • (Guru Nanak: 1469-1539) • Today, 16 – 20 million adherents

  4. SOURCES? 1) Adi Granth (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) • Devotional hymns and poetry • Not historical events

  5. SOURCES? • Janamsakhi literature • Narratives focusing on Guru Nanak’s life • Earliest sources written 100 years after Guru Nanak’s death • Thus questionable historically

  6. JANAMSAKHIS: • Say more about the needs of the community after the Guru’s death than about factual evidence • Also inconsistencies between the various versions

  7. LATER GURUS: SOURCES • These histories are not included in the janamsakhis • BUT written in same style • Same genre

  8. JANAMSAKHIS: STATEMENTS OF FAITH, AS OPPOSED TO BEING HISTORICALLY FACTUAL

  9. GURU NANAK

  10. BACKGROUND TO SIKH TRADITION: MILIEU • Nanak very much in line with Bhakti tradition • Version of Bhakti known as the ‘Sant tradition’ • Sant = ‘one who knows the truth’

  11. SANT TRADITION: • God = nirguna – without form • Vedas are not authoritative • Brahmin priesthood rejected • Opposed to ALL outer forms of religion (pilgrimage, images, scripture) • Religion is strictly an interior affair • Salvation open to all, regardless of caste or gender

  12. THE EARLY FOLLOWERS OF THE GURUS WERE NOT INITIALLY CONSIDERED A DISTINCT COMMUNITY THEY WERE SIMPLY ONE OF THE BHAKTI MOVEMENTS THAT WERE SWEEPING ACROSS INDIA

  13. NANAK THE BRIDGE BUILDER: • STORY OF THE FLOWERS AT GURU NANAK’S DEATH…

  14. GURU NANAK AND HINDUS: • “Hindus praise the praiseworthy one whose vision and beauty are incomparable, but they bathe at pilgrimage places, make flower offerings, and place the perfume of sandalwood before idols” (AG 465).

  15. GURU NANAK AND MUSLIMS: • “Let compassion be your mosque, faith your prayer carpet, and righteousness your Qur’an. Let modesty be your circumcision, and uprightness your fasting. Thus you will become a true Muslim” (AG 140).

  16. GURU NANAK BELIEVED THAT GOD COULD BE FOUND IN ALL TRADITIONS

  17. RITUALS, SCRIPTURE IN AND OF THEMSELVES ARE NOT ENOUGH THESE BECOME ENDS AS OPPOSED TO MEANS WHEREBY TRUTH CAN BE FOUND

  18. COMMUNITY OF NANAK: • Householder is the ideal (not ascetic) • Nam simaran – meditation on Divine name and nature of God • Satsang – community • Devotion to the Guru – receive darshan

  19. GURU NANAK’S SUCCESSOR • Rejection of family lineage • Eldest son was an ascetic • Youngest son not interested

  20. GURU ANGAD

  21. GURU ANGAD: • Lehna – devotee of Durga • Contrast Angad’s devotion to Guru Nanak with his sons’ • Many stories of this devotion

  22. GURU AMAR DAS

  23. GURU AMAR DAS: • Construction of baoli (well) • Pilgrimage centre • Beginning of institutionalization of the community (Panth)

  24. GURU RAM DAS

  25. GURU RAM DAS: • Son-in-law of Guru Amar Das • Succession moves a little closer to family succession that Guru Nanak had rejected • Eventually, guruship stays within the family line of Gurus

  26. CONTROVERSIES WITH REGARD TO SUCCESSION – EACH SON TOOK ACTION AGAINST THEIR FATHERS’ DECISIONS FOR LEADERSHIP LEGALLY, THEY WERE THE HEIRS ALSO CLAIMED THEY WERE THE TRUE GURUS SCHISM AFTER SCHISM

  27. GURU ARJAN

  28. GURU ARJAN: • Turning point in Sikh community • Son of last Guru (though not the oldest) • Compiled Sikh hymns into scripture • Built Harimandir/Amritsar • Known as ‘king’ to his followers • Active in trade and business

  29. HARIMANDIR SAHIB = GOLDEN TEMPLE, AMRITSAR

  30. OTHER CHANGES? • Caste constituency is changing • Moving from Khatri to Jat caste grouping • Had a huge influence on direction taken by later Gurus

  31. GURU HARGOBIND

  32. GURU HARGOBIND: • Miri-piri doctrine = temporal and spiritual power • Had an army • Mughal threat OR Jat caste influx?

  33. GURU GOBIND SINGH

  34. GURU GOBIND SINGH

  35. GURU GOBIND SINGH • Father put to death by Mughals • Known for his love of horses, hunting, hawking • MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN SIKH TRADITION ATTRIBUTED TO GURU GOBIND SINGH

  36. BAISAKHI DAY, 1699 • Called for a follower to give his life to his Guru • Eventually 5 came forward • Panj Piare (beloved 5)

  37. BAISAKHI, 1699: KHALSA BROTHERHOOD

  38. TODAY, WHEN ANY DECISION IS MADE, OR, SOMEONE IS INITIATED, 5 ‘BELOVEDS’ GATHER

  39. 5 Ks: SYMBOLS OF THE KHALSA • Kachh – undergarment (breeches) • Kes – uncut hair • Kirpan – dagger • Kanga – comb • Kara – iron bangle

  40. 5 Ks

  41. PANJ PIARE: INITIATION

  42. SIKH WOMAN: INITIATION

  43. MEDITATION WAS STILL ON THE DIVINE NAME BUT THERE WAS NOW A NEW ASPECT TO ‘BEING SIKH’

  44. GURU GRANTH SAHIB

  45. GURU GRANTH SAHIB

  46. GURU GRANTH ELEVATED

  47. GURU GRANTH AND IMPLEMENTS

  48. THE GURU GRANTH PUT TO BED

  49. SIKHISM AND WORSHIP: • Sikhs insist that the Guru Granth is not worshipped • It is simply honoured