Guru Nanak - The Founder of Sikhism
The history of Sikhism starts with Guru Nanak, a son of the ruler or warrior caste who lived from 1469 to 1538. He was born into northern India. The spiritual branches Sufi Islamic and Bhakti Hindu, "sacred" men influenced him.
Guru Nanak believes into a supreme creature and determined that every religion used various names for the similar deity which Nanak called "Sat Nam". Nanak wanted to combine Islam and Hinduism together. Although there can be several similarities observed between Hinduism, Sufism and Sikhism. The typical responses to claim of a connection are met with an adamant position for Sikhism as a direct revelation from God.
The Guru word is combination of the 2 small words Gu and Ru. The Gu means darkness and the Ru means light. The Sikhs say guru means "the Light to dispel darkness," but as "darkness" comes first it appears more similar, "the darkness to parades while light."
The Life of Guru Nanak
Guru Nanak is founder of Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. He was born in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day called Pakistan.
Guru Nanak parents, Matta Tripat and Mehta Kalu were Hindus and belong to the merchant caste. Still as a boy, Nanak was enthralled with religion and his desire to discover the mysteries of life ultimately led him toward leave home.
Nanak was married to Sulkhni of Batala, and they had 2 sons, Sri Lakhmi and Chand Das. Brother in law of Guru nanak, the husband of Nanak's sister, Nanki available a job for him into Sultanpur as the manager of the government granary.
When he was 28 years old, one morning Nanak went as usual down to the river to meditate and bathe. It is said that he was gone for 3 days. When he reappeared, filled with the spirit of God, he said, "There is no Muslim and no Hindu." After that he started his missionary work.
Tradition states that he completed four super journeys, traveling to every part of India, and also to the Persia and Arabia; visiting Baghdad and Mecca. He spoke before Jains, Parsees, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Parsees. He spoke at mosques and temples, and on different pilgrimage sites. During this period Nanak met Kabir, a saint revered with both Muslims and Hindus.
The Teachings of the Sikhism
The teachings of the Sikhism are syncretism of the principle of Hinduism and Islam. Instead of borrowing from the Islamic and Hindu scriptures, the Sikhs wrote their individual scripture based on their interpretation of certain thoughts taught into Islam and Hinduism. The Sikhism really rejects several teachings of Islam and Hinduism. The effect is an appealing combination of both Moslem theology and Hindu.
Basic beliefs of Sikhism
The Ten Gurus of Sikhism
- Sikh Baptism
- All other Scripture
Sikhism was developed and established with ten Gurus through the period of 1469 to 1708. All Gurus appointed his own successor. The Guru Nanak Dev was the 1st Guru and the Guru Gobind Singh the last Guru into human form. The Guru Gobind Singh nominated the Sri Guru Granth Sahib the final and ultimate Sikh Guru.
- Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539): The Guru Nanak Dev founder of the Sikhism.
- Guru Angad Dev (1504-52): Guru Angad Dev developed the Gurmukhi. The Gurmukhi script used for Punjab language and collected 62 hymns those were afterward included into the Guru Granth Sahib.
- Guru Amar Das (1479-1574): Guru Amar Das became Guru at the age of 73. Guru Amar Das organized 3 annual gatherings for the Sikhs, set up first pilgrimage site on Goindval Sahib and introduced Sikh rituals for birth and death. His most famous hymn - Anand Sahib, is part of Sikh daily ritual.
- Guru Ram Das (1534-1581): Guru Ram Das was founded Amritsar, the city of holy of the Sikhism. Guru Ram Das was composed the Lavan marriage song, even used into Sikh marriages.
- Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606): Guru Arjan Dev Collected the songs of earlier Gurus and extra 2616 of his individual to type the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhism. He also developed the Golden Temple.
- Guru Hargobind (1595-1644): The Guru Hargobind son of the Guru Arjan. His father introduce a dress code that include wearing of two swords. Out of the two swords, one signifies his religious (fakiri) and other signifies his political (amiri) authority. Guru Hargobind tried to combine Hundus and Sikhs against the Mughals, for that he had to face the wrath of Jahangir - The Mughal Emperor.
- Guru Har Rai (1630-1661): Guru Har Rai grandson of the Guru Har Gobind.
- Guru Har Krishan (1656-1664): Guru Har Krishan younger son of the Guru Har Rai. Guru Har Krishan became guru on the age of five and died due to smallpox on the age of eight.
- Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75): Guru Tegh Bahadur was great uncle of Guru Har Krishan..
- Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708): Guru Gobind Singh son of the Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Gobind Singh was founded the Sikh baptism and Khalsa, composed several poems. Swami Vivekananda called him as "the most glorious hero of our race"