is one of the youngest world religion. It is a strictly monotheistic faith,
preaching the existence of only one God, and teaching universally acceptable
ideals of honesty, compassion, humility, piety, social commitment, and above
all tolerance for other religions.
The word 'Sikh' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'shishya' which means a
disciple, a learner, a seeker of truth. A Sikh believes in One God and the
teachings of the Ten Gurus, embodied in the Eternal Shabad Guru, Sri Guru
Granth Sahib ji. The Basic beliefs must be followed in Sikhism.
Additionally, a Sikh must also partake Amrit, the Sikh Baptism. Every sikh
is supposed to follow the Sikh Code of Discipline. Sikhism was founded by
Guru Nanak Dev Ji in the beginning of the sixteenth century. The succeeding
nine Gurus nurtured, developed and preached his ideas and teachings. The
pontificates of the nine successors of Guru nanak were only the extensions
of Guru nanak's work. It is significant to note that five of the successors
of Guru Nanak also composed under the name 'Nanak' implying thereby that
there is no difference between the compositions of the successor and the
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru installed,in 1708, Guru Granth Sahib
ji as his successor and the permanent Guru of the Sikhs and brought to an
end to the line of human Gurus. Earlier, on Baisakhi day of 29th March,1699
The Birth of The Khalsa took place.
The Sikh Gurus provided guidance for about 240 years. They taught the basic
values of freedom, brotherhood, charity, obedience, understanding, sympathy,
patience, humility, simplicity, and piety, and outlined the path to
spirituality in life. The Gurus themselves said that they were human beings
and were not to be worshipped as God. They considered themselves to be mere
servants of God.
The Sikh religion was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born in 1469 CE in the
village of Talwandi, now called 'Nankana Sahib' near Lahore (Pakistan).
Right from his childhood his keen mind would not accept all the groundless
rituals, superstitions and dogmas which passed for religion in those days.
Guru Nanak and the nine Gurus, who succeeded him, set a wonderful example
of living spiritually, while yet taking an active part in the world. The
tenth Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708 CE) evolved the Sikh initiation
ceremony in 1699 CE; and thus gave a distinctive identity to the Sikhs. The
first Five Initiated Sikhs were named Panj Piaré (Five Beloved Ones),
who in turn initiated the Guru on his request - an event hitherto unknown in
the history of mankind.
Shortly before passing away the Guru ordained that Guru Granth Sahib, the
Sikh Scripture, would be the ultimate spiritual authority for the Sikhs and
the temporal authority would vest in the Khalsa Panth - the Sikh
Commonwealth. Guru Granth Sahib was compiled and edited by the fifth Nanak,
Guru Arjan in 1604 CE. This is the only scripture in the world, which has
been compiled by the founders of a faith during their own lifetime.
Gurudwara - The Sikh Place of Worship
Gurdwara (the door or abode of the Guru) is the name given to the Sikh
place of worship, commonly addressed as Sikh temple in the western world. "Temple"
is a misnomer in context of a Gurdwara and the Sikhs object to the use of
this word for their place of worship. To understand the objection of the
Sikhs to the word "temple", imagine how a Christian would react if
St Peter's Basillica is called "a Catholic Synagogue" or a "Christian
Mosque". In the Gurdwara, the Sikh scripture is recited and sung and
its exegesis done. Guru Granth Sahib is placed on a high palanquin under a
canopy in the middle of one end of the hall. The Gurdwara is a place where
the "Word of the Guru" reigns supreme, not only in its recitation
but also in practice. It won't be an overstatement to say that a Sikh's life
revolves around the Gurdwara, which is why wherever there are even ten Sikh
families, they establish a Gurdwara. All the ceremonies relating to birth,
initiation, marriage, death and celebration of festivals centers around the
The Five Takhts
'Takht' which literally means a throne or seat of authority is a result of
historical growth of Sikhism. There are five Takhats. The first and the most
important one was established by Guru Hargobind in 1609. It is called 'Akal
Takht' (the Throne of the Timeless God) and is situated just opposite the
gate of Harmandar Sahib - The Golden Temple, Amritsar. The Guru established
it, because he thought that secular political matters should not be
considered in the Golden Temple, which is meant purely for worship of God.
Here the Guru held his court and decided matters of military strategy and
political policy. Later on, the Sikh commonwealth (Sarbat Khalsa) took
decisions here on matters of peace and war and settled disputes between the
various Sikh groups.
Sarangi singers sung the ballads of the Sikh Gurus and warriors at this
place and robes of honour (saropas) were awarded to persons who rendered
distinguished services of the community of men in general. The second seat
of authority is called "Takhat Sri Patna Sahib". The Five Takhts
are the five gurudwaras and these have a very special significance for the
Sikh community. Takht means a throne. They are considered the seats of Sikh
religious authority. The important decisions concerning the religious and
social life of the Sikh community have been taken here.
Akal Takht Sahib
Akal Takht Sahib literally means Eternal Throne. It is also part of
the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. It's foundation was laid by
Guru Hargobind Sahib . The Akal Takht is situated opposite to
Harmandir Sahib and are connected by a passage. The building of the
Akal Takht opposite the Golden Temple has a special meaning. While
the Golden Temple stands for spiritual guidance the Akal Takht
symbolizes the dispensing of justice and temporal activity. During
the day the Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Golden Temple, while at
night it is kept in the Akal Takht Sahib. In earlier days all Sikh
warriors sought blessings here before going to battle fields. During
the 18th century while Sikhs were fighting a guerrilla war in the
forests they used to gather at the Akal Takht on special occasions
such as Baisakhi and Diwali. Here the community used to have general
meetings and approve resolutions. The Akal Takht is the oldest of
the Five Takhts.
Sri Damdama Sahib
Takht Sri Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo
near Bhatinda. At this place Guru Gobind Singh stayed here for
approximately a year and compiled the final edition of Guru Granth
Sahib also known as the Damdama Sahib Bir in 1705.
Sri Keshgarh Sahib
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib is situated at Anandpur Sahib. It is the
birthplace of the Khalsa. The order of the Khalsa was founded here
by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Some of the weapons of Guru Gobind
Singh are displayed here.
- Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib
Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib is situated on the banks of Godavari river
in Maharashtra state. This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh left
for Heavenly abode. The inner room of the temple is called Angitha
Sahib and is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was
cremated in 1708.
Sri Patna Sahib
Takht Sri Patna Sahib is situated in Patna city which is also the
capital of Bihar state. Guru Gobind Singh was born here in 1666 and
he spent his early childhood here before moving to Anandpur Sahib.
Besides being the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh , Patna was also
visited by Guru Nanak and Guru Tegh Bahadur at different points of
There are certain festivals that are celebrated by Sikhs all over the
world. These comprise of
These are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. Each of
these festivals symbolize beginning and end of various seasons and
therefore mark a celebration time.
- Hola Mohalla
- Bandi-Chhorh Divas (Diwali)
Other Sikh's Pilgrimage Places