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Sikhism in India


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Sikhism in India

Sikhism is comparatively a new and fresh religion to India established by Guru Nanak Dev. Guru Nanak was always interested in traveling and preaching Humanity. As in India, anyone who teaches is called a Guru, the followers of Nanak, soon were called Sikhs (a student). During the formative years the followers of Sikhism tried to abolish some of the practices like sati, caste system and untouchability from India.

In Sikhism everyone has equal rights irrespective of caste, creed, color, race, sex or religion. Sikhism rejects pilgrimage, fasting, superstitions and other such rituals. The religion does not have a clergy class as it considers this as a gateway to corruption. However, they have readers and singers in their temples.

During the term of Guru Gobind as the Sikh Guru, the reign of Punjab was in the hands of Mughals. Some of the Mughal rulers like Aurengzeb tried to convert non-Muslims to Muslims. In order to stop all these persecutions, Guru Gobind changed his and his followers surname to Singh meaning Lion. He wanted the community to be that of fighters who could fight for their rights.

As the Rajputs also had the surname of Singh, in order to make it easier for his followers to recognize each other, Guru Gobind Singh, chose five marks, some of which even today symbolize the Sikhs. The five signs were uncut hair Kesh; bracelet on the right hand wrist Kara; comb Kanga, shorts Kacha and sword or dagger Kirpan.These five marks are popularly termed as the 5 Ks in Sikhism.

Sikhism has had 10 spiritual Gurus after which Guru Granth Sahib, their religious test was declared as eternal successor bu the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The 10 Sikh Gurus were:

# Name Date of birth Guruship on Date of ascension
1 Guru Nanak 15 April, 1469 20 August, 1507 22 September, 1539
2 Guru Angad 31 March, 1504 7 September, 1539 29 March, 1552
3 Guru Amar Das 5 May, 1479 26 March, 1552 1 September, 1574
4 Guru Ram Das 24 September, 1534 1 September, 1574 1 September, 1581
5 Guru Arjan Dev 15 April, 1563 1 September, 1581 30 May, 1606
6 Guru Har Gobind 19 June, 1595 25 May, 1606 28 February, 1644
7 Guru Har Rai 16 January, 1630 3 March, 1644 6 October, 1661
8 Guru Har Krishan 7 July, 1656 6 October, 1661 30 March, 1664
9 Guru Tegh Bahadur 1 April, 1621 20 March, 1665 11 November, 1675
10 Guru Gobind Singh 22 December, 1666 11 November, 1675 7 October, 1708

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