Sikhism. Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

In the year 1469 a man namedGuru Nanak was born into a Punjabi-Hindu family. Hisname means "He who was born at the home of his mother'sparents", which was in Talwandi, near Labone ("Sikhs"647). We know little about Nanak's life but a lot about hisbeliefs from a book called " Adi Granth" or " Granth Sahib",which means holy book. Some of his beliefs were the realityof "karma" and "reincarnation".These are beliefs that ouractions in this life determine how high or low we'll be in ournext life. The Hindus and Muslims believe it is best toworship, missionize, study and write the sacred scriptures,and other religious public actions and behaviors. Nanakbelieved that this is wrong. He felt that the people should beinvolved in inward meditation to the God, Akal Purakh(Nanak was a monotheist, believing in one god). Nanakbelieved that Akal Purakh is the almighty creator andsustainer of the universe and he has no form. If one is trulydevoted to Akal then Akal may reveal himself to you in"nam" or the divine name. Since Akal created the world andeverything in it then, the world can be considered anexpression of "nam",(McLeod 5). Akal, to reveal himselfthrough "nam", speaks the "sabad" or divine word, through aloyal believer. This believer acts as the eternal guru, orteacher, speaking in the mystical voice of Akal through the"sabad". A guru can achieve this divine harmony with Akalby the practice of "nam simaran". This can be accomplishedin many ways. One way is by the repeating of a "mantra", aword that expresses the divine reality. Another way is to singdevotional songs or even to have deep mysticalconcentration. Guru Nanak attracted many disciples, or"sikha" (this is where the name Sikh comes from). These"sikhas" were the original Sikhs. Before Guru Nanak died heappointed a successor from among his disciples to be thesecond guru. This started the chain of the ten Sikh guruswhich lasted 439 years from the birth of Nanak to the deathof Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, in the year 1708, ("Hindusand Sikhs" 11). Nanak appointed as his successor Lehna orLahina, who later changed his name to Angad (Angada wasa lesser legendary hero of that time). Guru Angad is theperson responsible for the thinking up the idea of a "GranthSahib", the holy book. Angad appointed as his successorAmar Das, who did two things that differed from Nanak'sbeliefs. He made his own village, Goindual, a city forpilgrims, though Nanak said that missionizing was not good.In addition, Amar Das collected materials for the forming of"Granth Sahib", though Nanak said you shouldn't makesacred writings. Guru Amar Das appointed, as hissuccessor, his son-in-law Jetha or Ram Das. Guru Ram Dasbuilt the golden temple in Amritsar on the land given to himby emperor Akbor. Before then the Guru- ship was given tosomeone who deserved it, but from that point on it wasgiven to a family member. So, Ram Das gave it to his thirdson Arjan Dev, a legendary hero of his time. Guru ArjanDev put together the "Granth Sahib",...

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