Spiritual Itineraries - Sikh Religion
Sikhism, one of the world’s blooming religions got originated in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev in different regions of Punjab. It is basically a monotheistic belief that preaches about the entity of only one God. Simplicity is the main virtue of this religion and it teaches people the ideas of compassion, honesty, social commitment, piousness and above all lenience for all religions.
What does Sikhism stand for?
The word ‘Sikh’ originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Shishya’ that means a follower, a truth seeker, a learner and so on. Sikhs believe in only one God and the teachings of their ten Gurus have been embodied in their Holy Book Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the founder of this religion who continued its progression with the help of nine successive Sikh Gurus. Internal spiritual state of the individual is the most significant aspect in Sikhism. Every Sikh or can say the follower of Sikhism is supposed to tag along the code of Discipline depicted by Sikhism. Furthermore, a Sikh must also have to involve in Amrit, the Sikh’s religion principles of Baptism.
The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji installed Guru Granth Sahib Ji as the eternal Guru in 1708 and hence he put a full stop to the worship of human Gurus. On 29th March, 1699, the day of Baisakhi, the beginning of Khalsa occurred.
All the Sikh Gurus delivered guidance of honesty and kindness for about 240 years and taught many virtues such as fraternity, values of freedom, mutual understanding, charity, respect, patience, sympathy, humility, and godliness and designed the path to spirituality. All the Gurus considered themselves as just the servants of almighty God.
History of Sikhism:
The Sikh religion began during 15th century, when Guru Nanak the first Sikh guru began to teach a belief that was quite distinct from Islam and Hinduism. This faith was originated in the area of Punjab in the province of South Asia that at the present is shared by India and Pakistan. Guru Nanak’s birthplace the village of Talwandi, now famous as ‘Nankana Sahib ‘ is located near Lahore, Pakistan. Guru Nanak along with his 9 successors set a magnificent example of spiritual living while participating in worldly activities. Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 CE), the tenth Nanak developed the Sikh instigation ceremony by 1699 CE and hence he gave a distinguishing identity to the Sikhs. The first 5 Sikhs initiated during Sikh introduction were called Panj Piare means five beloved ones, who one by one set off the Guru on his humble request.
Guru Granth Sahib, the living spiritual authority and Sikh Scripture was compiled as well as abridged by the Guru Arjan, the fifth Nanak in 1604 CE. It is the only sacred book in the whole world that has been compiled by the creators of a religion during their existence.
Gurudwara-Sikhs’ Sacred Place of Worship:
Gurudwara as the name suggests is the door or the abode of the Guru is commonly known as the Sikh temple in foreign countries. Sikhs along with the followers of other religion and faith go to Gurudwara to pay reverence to Guru Granth Sahib. At this sacred place the scripture of Sikh is recited as well as sung plus its annotation is also performed.
The Holy book of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib is positioned on an elevated palanquin under an awning in the center of one closing stages of the hall. The Gurdwara is considered as a place where the "Word of the Guru “prevails highest, not just in its narration but in practice too. In fact, a Sikh’s life revolves around this sacred place. All the rituals relating to initiation, birth, death, marriage, and festivity of celebrations are performed around Gurudwara.
The Five Takhts and their Relevance:
Takhts also called throne or seat of authority is a consequence of chronological expansion of Sikhism. There are five most significant Takhts. The first as well as the most relevant one was founded in 1609 by Guru Hargobind. It is famous as ‘Akal Takht’, the Throne of the eternal God and is positioned at the opposite of the gate of Harmandar Sahib at Golden Temple, Amritsar. It was established by the Guru at Golden Temple as this place is away from secular political views that mean it is purely devoted for God’s worship. Later on Khalsa began taking decision on subjects of peace as well as war plus settled disputes among different Sikh communities.
The Sarangi soloists sung the Sikh Gurus’ and warriors’ ballads at this very place and robes of honor called saropas were granted to individuals who rendered eminent services of the group of people in general. The second throne is called ‘Takhat Sri Patna Sahib’. The Five Takhts symbolize five Gurudwaras that embrace very special importance for the Sikh society. Takht are considered the authoritative seats of Sikh religion.
Sri Akal Takht Sahib :
It factually means Timeless Throne and is also an integral part of the Golden Temple compound in Amritsar. Its establishment was laid by Sikh Guru Hargobind Sahib. The Akal Takht is positioned contrary to Harmandir Sahib plus is interlinked by a passage. The building of this takht located at opposite side of the Golden Temple contains an exclusive meaning. While the Svarna Mandair (Golden Temple) stands for divine guidance, the Akal Takht portrays the dispensing of impartiality and earthly activity. Guru Granth Sahip is kept in the Golden Temple during the day where as during night it is kept under the Akal Takht Sahib. In previous era the Sikh combatants sought blessings over here prior to moving towards the battle fields.
Dated back to 18th century when Sikhs were combating a guerrilla war in the dense woods they supposed to assemble at the Akal Takht on particular events like Diwali and Baisakhi. Here the group of people used to have all-purpose meetings and seek out resolutions. It is the oldest takht out of five takhts.
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib : It is located at Anandpur Sahib, which is the native land of the Khalsa. The undertaking of Khalsa took place here during 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh. This place also features some of the arsenals of Guru GobindSingh.
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib : Located in the village of Talwandi Sabo close to Bhatinda symbolizes the place where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for about a year and interpreted the final edition of the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib in 1705.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib : It is sited in Patna the capital city of Bihar. It is the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh who was born in 1666 and spent his early babyhood over here before leaving for Anandpur Sahib. Besides being the hometown of Guru Gobind Singh, this city was also explored by Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Nanak at various points of time.
Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib : It is positioned on the water's edge of Godavari River in the state of Maharashtra. It is that very place where Guru Gobind Singh took his last breath and moved out for Heavenly abode. The inner space of the shrine is called Angitha Sahib and is constructed over the location where Guru Gobind Singh was incinerated during 1708.
Besides there are also some other famous Pilgrimage Places of Sikhs such as:
- Hemkund Sahib.
- Poanta Sahib
Sikh community celebrates certain festivals that are enjoyed by Sikhs residing in various parts of the world. These celebrations include:
- Hola Mohalla
- Bandi-Chhorh Divas (Diwali)