What is Sikhism?
Sikhism is a religious practice that is said to be monotheistic, or having the belief of the existence of only one God. Through the teachings of Indian Gurus, particularly Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the religion called Sikhism was born in India around the 15th century. As a religious organization, Sikhism is among the 5th biggest around the world and is considered to be growing faster in terms of followers.
One who follows Sikhism is called a “Sikh”. Most Sikhs are residents of Punjab in India, but there are also significant groups of followers scattered all around the globe. There are said to be about 26 million Sikhs or Sikhism followers in the world. Essentially, a Sikh is expected to follow the basic practices of his chosen religion. With the principal belief of only one God, followers of Sikhism are expected to live along the principles of faith and justice. All followers are also expected to follow and practice the teachings of the ten gurus in Sikh history, along with the scripture called “Guru Granth”. Sikh baptism is also administered in accordance to the teachings of a guru named Gobind Singh, or the final and tenth guru of Sikhism.
The way of life under Sikhism is guided by principles like equality between human beings regardless of creed, gender, or caste. It is also emphasized in the teachings of this religion that every Sikh person should aspire for salvation and not on other principles like the idea of retiring in heaven or hell for example. It is also said that one person can only attain salvation from God if he/she is able to practice the religion’s teachings and do away with earthly conflicts and materialism.
Generally, Sikhism is similar to other religious teachings in the sense that good behavior and attitude is promoted like love, truthful living, equality and fraternity. But what makes Sikhism distinct from other religious affiliations is that part of the practice is the involvement of restrictions in terms of appearance. The hair is supposed to be unaltered for both men and women. Sikhs also wear a bangle made of steel to signify their faith.