A Sikh is defined as a person who believes in:
Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. There are about 26 million Sikhs worldwide. The vast majority of Sikhs live in the Panjab, a part of northern India. Sikhs live in just about every major country around the world. It is estimated that nearly one million Sikhs live in the United States.
Waheguru is the Sikh name for God. It means wonderful enlightener. Sikh believe that repeating Waheguru keeps God ever present in the mind, which is considered is the key to overcoming ego and becoming enlightened.
Sikhs believe the creative aspect of one God is manifest in all of creation as intelligent design. Sikhs worship only one God. Favors sought from images, icons, pictures, nature, or other deities, is not condoned, and considered idol worship.
Sikhs believe in meditation as a way of life.
- The Sikh ideal is to remember God while carrying out daily duties.
- A Sikh is to remember God while employed in honest work.
- Sikhs believe in sharing what they earn with others in need. Charitable work is considering the same as giving service to God, if carried out while meditating and keeping God in mind.
At the time of baptism, initiated Sikhs are instructed to:
- Honor the intention of the creator by keeping all hair intact.
- Uphold the values of family life by abstaining from adultery.
- Refrain from eating animals who suffer a ritualistic death.
- Observe temperance by avoiding the use of intoxicants.
Sikhs maintain a distinctive appearance. Baptized Sikhs keep five articles of faith with them at all times.
- Part of the religious duty is to keep every hair intact and unaltered. Men, wear turbans to keep long hair tidy. Women wear turbans or long silky scarves.
- Long hair is groomed daily with a wooden comb.
- A loose undergarment is worn for modesty.
- A steel bangle is worn as a sign of faith.
- Sikhs wear a small sword. It symbolic of battling the senses. It also signifies the Sikh ideal of protecting the innocent against aggressive force.
What are the Common Misconceptions About Sikhism?:
The Sikh faith originated in Pakistan and North India, about 500 years ago. Sikhism is sometimes confused with Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism because of geographical proximity and cultural similarities.
Sikhs are sometimes confused with terrorists because of their martial history and dress. Sikhs live to a code of honor in service of all humanity. Sikh ethics advocate equality for men and women of every race and religion. Sikhs have a history of being the defenders of the defenseless. Sikhs are known for acting against the terror of forced conversion. Many Sikhs throughout history are respected for having sacrificed their own lives, so that people of other religions may have freedom to worship in the manner of their choice.