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Amrit Sanchar Initiation Ceremony Illustrated

Drink Amrit

Did you know that Amrit Sanchar is the Sikh initiation ceremony of rebirth? The ceremony conducted by the Panj Pyare may be held any time of day in a secluded place. At least one new initiate must be present.

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Sikhism Spotlight10

Sikh Speak

Thursday April 17, 2014

What is Sikh Speak?

Words of scripture, langar cooking terms, and spiritual baby names, when spelled phonetically may look similar, but all have distinct meanings.

If you are new to Sikhism you may be wondering what Sikh words mean. If you are a Sikh of Punjabi origin you may wonder about the English meanings of Sikhism terms. Did you know that phonetic English spellings transposed from Gurmukhi or Punjabi script using Roman characters means that the same word can be spelled a variety of creative ways? That is because, although there are guidelines for pronunciation, there is no set standard used for transliteration. Word meanings also have a certain flavor in Sikhism, which go beyond the literal definition. Confused? Don't be. I've made it easy for you to understand.

Gurmukhi to English Resources

Gurmukhi Script Introduction
Alphabet and pronunciation.

Gurmukhi Script

Gurmukhi Script
Photo [S Khalsa]

Sikhism Glossary Words and Meanings A - Z
Includes vocabulary, definitions, usage, background, and images.

Browse definitions of Sikhism terms from A-Z:
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10 Tips for Learning to Read Gurmukhi
Practice, progress, and proficiency.

Gurmukhi to English Prayerbooks and Primers
Meanings, and translations.

Illustrated Gurmukhi Script Dictionary
Visual spellings

Hymns and Prayers Pronunciation and Meanings
Phonetic spellings and English translations

Sikhism Food Glossary and Cooking Terms
Punjabi words used in langar preparation

10 Sikhism Clergy Terms
Gurdwara caretakers and attendants

DIY Sikhism Slogans and Symbols
Projects and emblems

Baby Names With Spiritual Meanings
Boys and Girls

Nishan - Banner flag

Nishan - Banner Flag
Photo [Taranjit Singh]
Browse Sikh baby names from A - Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
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Vaisakhi 2014 Nagar Kirtan Stockton Ca

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Featured: 2014 Vaisakhi Day Nagar Kirtan Parade Stockton Ca

The Stockton Vaisakhi Day Nagar Kirtan parade celebrates the creation of Khalsa by Tenth Guru Gobind Singh in 1699. Sikhism got its official start in the United States when first ever gurdwara opened in Stockton, California in 1912.

Gatka Display at Stockton Nagar Kirtan Vaisakhi 2014

Gatka Display
Photo [S Khalsa]

The Northern California Gatka Troupe puts on a festive display showing their skill at twirling the Chakar.

Sevadaars Frying Aloo Tikki at Gurdwara Stockton Langar Court Vaisakhi 2014

Aloo Tikki
Photo [S Khalsa]

Volunteer sevadars fry up thousands of Aloo Tikki, spicy potato patties, to feed langar to the sangat who have come to Stockton Gurdwara for Vaisakhi Day festivities.

Bazaar Tent at Gurdwara Stockton Vaisakhi 2014

Bazaar Tent
Photo [S Khalsa]

Shopping stalls offer a variety of hard to find items, such as Sikh articles of faith, kirtan Cds, books, art, clothing, blankets, and even a variety of toys for little ones.

Panj Pyare At Stockton Vaisakhi 2014

Panj Pyare at Stockton Vaisakhi 2014
Photo [Khalsa Panth]

The Panj Pyare have an important leadership role in festive occasions where they carry swords and the Nishan Sahib banner at the head of the procession.

Float Vaisakhi 2014

Vaisakhi 2014 Nagar Kirtan Float Stockton Ca
Photo [Khalsa Panth]

A beautifully decorated festive float carries the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib through the streets of Stockton in celebration of Vaisakhi Day 2014

Creation of Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh
Timeline of Sikhism in the United States
Vaisakhi Holiday Celebrations

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Should Sikhs Celebrate Easter?

Monday April 7, 2014

If you live in the US or another Western Country, the signs of Easter are everywhere. It is a highly commercialized event and the stores are over flowing with Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies and Easter lilies. Children in school have Easter art projects. At the same time Sikhs are gearing up for Vaisakhi Day celebrations commemorating the formal establishment of Sikhism like the NYC Annual Sikh Day Parade. Vaisakhi is the anniversary of the first Amrit Sanchar, the Sikh baptismal ceremony of initiation and rebirth as Khalsa.

The Sikh code of conduct calls for the Khalsa to renounce all ties to the former way of life. Does this include munching on a chocolate Easter egg? How do you decide, or do you even bother? Chocolate is chocolate right, no matter what the wrapper. Having a bite doesn't necessarily mean you are celebrating anything but its taste. But what about coloring, and hunting Easter eggs? Do indulge in the fun, or are you too busy celebrating Vaisakhi to even be concerned?

Find out about the origins of Easter and decide if it's right for you.

Is Easter a Good Idea for Sikhs?
Is Celebrating National Holidays a Good Idea For Sikhs?

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What it Means to be Khalsa

Monday April 7, 2014

Featured: Singhni Pride at NYC Annual Sikh Day Parade

Throughout the world Vaisakhi day celebrations take place annually in April commemorating the creation of Khalsa in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh and the first Amrit initiation ceremony. In many locations Sikhs gather together and parade through the streets with Siri Guru Granth Sahib, as they sing devotional hymns. The distinctive appearance of the Khalsa, like these girls displaying Singhni Pride in the Annual NYC Sikh Day Parade Vaisakhi celebration, often arouses the curiosity of spectators.

Many Sikh youth attend gurmat camps which offer instruction in the Khalsa way of life. The words to a marching song popular in Khalsa training camps comment on the Khalsa identity and the way we stand out,
"Everywhere we go - people want to know - who we are..."

Who are we? We are the Khalsa, brotherhood of the pure, soul sisters, wedded brides of Waheguru, slayers of duality, anhad warriors battling the inner voices of ego, champions of the defenseless, the knights of Ik Onkar.

Guru Gobind Singh, tenth guru of the Sikhs, founder of the Khalsa wrote, and a poet, wrote Khalsa Mahima, a composition praising the virtues of the Khalsa:

"The Khalsa is the reflection of my form, The Khalsa is my body and soul, The Khalsa is my very life"....

All About Vaisakhi Celebrations and History

Annual NYC Sikh Day Parade

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Amritsanchar - Baptism or Initiation

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