There are 20 million Sikhs in the world, most of whom live in the Punjab province of India.
Sikhism, the youngest of the world religions, is barely five hundred years old. Its founder, Sri Guru Nanak, was born in 1469. Guru Nanak spread a simple message of “Ek Ong Kar”: we are all one, created by the One Creator of all Creation. This was at a time when India was being torn apart by castes, sectarianism, religious factions, and fanaticism. He aligned with no religion, and respected all religions. He expressed the reality that there is one God and many paths, and the Name of God is Truth, “Sat Nam”.
Guru Nanak’s Hindu and Muslim followers began to be called Sikhs (learners). He taught them to bow only before God, and to link themselves to the Guru, the Light of Truth, who lives always in direct consciousness of God, experiencing no separation. Through words and example, the Guru demonstrates to followers how to experience God within themselves, bringing them from darkness into light. Guru Nanak was a humble bearer of this Light of Truth. He opposed superstition, rituals, social inequality and injustice, renunciation and hypocrisy and inspired seekers by singing divine songs which touched the hearts of the most callous listeners. These songs were recorded, and formed the beginnings of the Sikhs’ sacred writings, later to become the “Siri Guru Granth Sahib“.
GURU NANAK TAUGHT HIS WAY OF LIFE:
Unity of God
There is but One God. He is Unborn, Omni-potent, Infinite, Formless, All-knowing and All-pervading.
All men are equal. God is our Mother & Father and we are His children. There is none high or low on account of birth, sex, position or riches.
One must have perfect faith in the Guru. The word Sikhism literally means the way of the disciple. The disciple must follow the Guru’s word.
Love of God
We can love God only when we cease to love ourselves. We must first destroy the ego (haumai).
If the mind is impure, it cannot deserve union with Divinity. Guru Nanak Sahib says : “Truth is no doubt great, but greater is truthful living.” The development of character is the only foundation on which the edifice of disciple-ship can be raised. Conquer the five deadly sins-lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride, Morality is an important step in the path of discipleship.
The practice of the Name is an-essential duty of a Sikh. The Guru seeks the dust of the feet of those who remember the Name and make others remember it. Simaran is the practice of the presence of God. It is God-vision. As we think, so we become. It is by meditation that we attain to the glory and greatness of the Almighty.