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Introduction

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Sikhism is amongst the youngest of the major religions in the world. The religion and philosophy of Sikhism originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent in the late 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. A way of life, well ahead of its time, founded close to 500 years ago, is the 5th largest religion of the world and has a following of over 20 million across the world. Followers of this religions are called “Sikhs”. The word “Sikh” is based on the Sanskrit word “Sishya” meaning “Disciple” or “learner”. The Sikhs refer to their faith as “Gurmat” meaning “The Way of the Guru”. Besides Sikhi and Gurmat, Sikhism is also referred to as Aad-Matt (the primal counsel).

According to the Sikhs, Sikhism was established by Guru Nanak Dev and was subsequently followed and preached by 10 successive Sikh Gurus with the last Guru being the holy scripture “Sri Guru Granth Sahib”. Upon the death of the last Guru – Guru Gobind Singh in 1708, the tradition and spirit of the Guru transferred itself to the sacred scripture of Sikhism, “The Guru Granth Sahib”

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also known as “Adi Granth”. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the 5th Sikh Guru, compiled the scripture and incorporated not only the writing of the Gurus before him but also included works of many devotees and saints who came from diverse backgrounds and denounced caste and superstition

Sikhism places emphasis on devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality, social justice and criticises superstitions and blind rituals. The most important belief of our religion is faith in Waheguru – denoted using the sacred symbol of “ Ik Onkar”, the Universal God. The followers of Sikhism follow the teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus enshrined in the holy scripture of Guru Granth Sahib and the religion is not restrictive and is open to all.

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