Sikhism has a unique idea of God. They call God "Ik Onkar," which means "one constant." 

Sikhism has a unique idea of God. They call God "Ik Onkar," which means "one constant." In Sikhism, God has no gender and is beyond time and space. They also believe God has no physical form. This is different from how some other religions see God.

Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of Sikhism, gave the Khalsa a special look to help them remember their promise and to keep their minds focused on God. When Sikhs join the Khalsa, they agree to wear five special items. These are called the Five Ks: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a comb), Katchera (special underwear), Kara (a bracelet), and Kirpan (a small sword).

The concept of turban 

The turban, also called "dastar" in Persian, was very meaningful during Guru Gobind Singh's time. Back then, wearing a turban showed that a person was respected and noble. People could tell if someone was an important Mughal or Hindu Rajput leader by looking at their turban. This history helps explain why turbans became important in Sikhism.

Turbans have been used for a long time as part of spiritual practices. Some people believe that the top of the head is very important. They call it the tenth gate or the crown chakra. Usually, hair covers this area. This hair is thought to work like an antenna. It protects the top of the head from the sun and other things. Some also think it helps to channel the sun's energy.

Why Sikhs don't cut their hair?

Some groups, like Yogis and Sikhs, choose not to cut their hair. Instead, they roll it up or tie it in a knot on top of their head. They do this at a spot called the solar center. For men, this spot is at the front of the head. Women have two of these spots. One is in the middle of the crown chakra, and the other is towards the back of the head. These groups believe that putting their hair in this way helps their energy flow better. They think it also helps them stay focused on spiritual things.

The Guru Granth Sahib is a unique scripture

The Guru Granth Sahib is a special religious text for Sikhs. It's different from holy books of other major religions. The Sikh Gurus themselves put together the Guru Granth Sahib. Most of the writings in it are by the Gurus. But it also has devotional writings from other religious people, like Muslim Sufis and Hindu Bhaktas.

The Guru Granth Sahib is not like many western religious books that tell stories. Instead, it's full of devotional poems. Most of these poems are meant to be sung. These writings have been very important in how Sikhs practice their faith since the time of Guru Nanak, who started Sikhism. When Sikhs worship, they sing these poems. They do this both when they're alone and when they're in groups at the gurdwara (Sikh place of worship).

Sikhs treat the holy Guru Granth Sahib ji with great respect, like they would treat a living teacher or guru. The book is kept on a raised platform. When no one is reading it, it's covered with a fancy cloth. Sikhs show deep respect for the Guru Granth Sahib. However, they're not worshipping the physical book itself. Instead, they respect the spiritual teachings and words (called shabad) inside the book.

Standing for justice

Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth Sikh Guru. He saw that the Mughal rulers were forcing Hindus to change their religion. Even though Guru Tegh Bahadur was not Hindu and did not believe in Hindu ideas, he still stood up for their right to follow their own religion. He thought people should be free to practice their faith. The Mughal rulers did not like this. They killed Guru Tegh Bahadur in public as punishment.

Sikhism teaches that there are no special moments or days that are better than others. It says all days of the week are the same. It also teaches that no numbers are lucky or unlucky. Sikhs believe that each day and each number is equal.

Sikhism does not want people to do certain things to please God. It says not to go without food (fasting), kill animals for religious reasons, travel to holy places, or hurt yourself on purpose. Sikhism teaches that the only way to make God happy and be close to Him is to love Him. It says people don't need to do special religious acts or believe in magic ideas to get God's love.

Sikh women have equal statu

In the 14th century, before Guru Nanak Dev Ji's time, women in India faced severe oppression. Society treated them poorly and limited their roles. Women were mainly expected to have children, do housework, and serve men. Many female babies were killed at birth. The practice of sati, where widows were burned alive on their husband's funeral pyre, was common. Sometimes women were forced to do this. Later, Guru Amar Das Ji, the third Guru of the Sikhs, spoke out against sati.

Sikhism brought major changes to society. The Sikh Gurus took steps to promote equality for women. This was very different from how things had been before. Women started to take part in social, religious, and political activities. As this happened, people began to see that women could contribute just as much as men. The Gurus taught that God sees men and women as equal. They said this means men and women should have the same rights in the world too. These changes were significant. They helped improve the position of women in Indian society. The Sikh Gurus' teachings about equality were quite different from the old ways of thinking. By including women in more aspects of life, Sikhism helped show their value and capabilities.

Food in Sikhism

Sikhism promotes a healthy lifestyle by encouraging followers to eat simple and natural foods. The religion teaches that people should avoid overeating and consuming unhealthy foods. This approach to eating is part of a broader philosophy in Sikhism that emphasizes living in harmony with others and avoiding harm to any living being.

The Symbol of Sikhism

Sikhs use a special symbol called the khanda. This symbol looks like a double-edged sword in the middle with two curved daggers on each side. The sword stands for spiritual power, while the daggers represent worldly power. Together, they show that everything is connected by one God. This symbol is important to Sikhs and represents their faith.

Greetings in Sikhism

Sikhs have their own special ways of greeting. One common greeting they use is "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh." This long phrase means that the Khalsa (the Sikh community) belongs to God, and that victory also belongs to God. Sikhs believe that everything comes from God, so they include this in their greeting.

Another greeting Sikhs often use is shorter. They say "Sat Sri Akal." This means that the eternal God is truth. By using this greeting, Sikhs remind each other of their belief in one true and everlasting God. These greetings are more than just ways to say hello. They help Sikhs express their faith and values when they meet each other.

Singh and Kaur

Singh and Kaur are last names used by Sikhs. Men use Singh, which means lion. Women use Kaur, which means lioness or princess. The Sikh Gurus wanted to show that women were equal in society. They did this by creating a system where women kept their last names after getting married. In Sikh history, women also fought in battles alongside men. This way, the Gurus made sure women were treated equally.

The 12’o clock connection

In 1739, Nadir Shah attacked Delhi. He stole from India and took about 2200 Hindu women. Sardar Jassa Singh, who led the Sikh army then, heard about this. He decided to attack Nadir Shah's camp at night. He did this and saved all the women. After this, whenever foreigners stole from India and took Hindu women, the Sikh army would attack at midnight. They did this even though they had fewer soldiers. Today, some people wrongly say that Sikhs lose control at midnight. This is not true at all.

No defined architecture for Gurudwara

A Gurdwara has four doors, each symbolizing a different concept: the Door of Peace, the Door of Livelihood, the Door of Learning, and the Door of Grace. These doors represent that people from all directions and all castes are welcome. Additionally, there is always a light on in a Gurudwara, signifying that the Guru's Light is always visible and accessible to everyone at any time.


*Based on an article by Pallavi Thakur, published in SpeakingTree on 17th February 2015


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