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Mandeep Singh Bawa


Literally translated: GU means darkness and RU means light. ... in that Easterly direction (instead of towards the West, contrary to his daily ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mandeep Singh Bawa

Mandeep Singh Bawa GAISS Equity Education
Who are the Sikhs?
  • Origin of Sikhism
  • What is a Sikh?
  • What is a Guru?
  • Birth of Sikhism the 10 Gurus
  • Birth of the Khalsa The 5 Ks
  • Sikh Beliefs
  • The Guru Granth Sahib
  • Gurdwara The Golden Temple
  • Importance of Identity
  • Sikh Dastar (Turban)
  • Dastar Bandi Anand Karaj
  • Sikhs in North America

Origin of Sikhism
What is a Sikh?
  • Sikh means Student or Disciple
  • Sikhism is worlds 5th largest religion, after
    Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism
  • 26 million Sikhs worldwide
  • 20 million in India
  • 1 million in North America
  • 99 of the people wearing TURBANS in America are

What is a Guru?
  • Guru means Spiritual Enlightener
  • The term GURU implies descendant of divine
    guidance to mankind sent from God.
  • Literally translated GUmeans darkness and RU
    means light.
  • Thus, Guru means the Light that dispels
    darkness. Therefore, Guru Nanak was the
    embodiment of divine light.

Birth of Sikhism
  • Guru Nanak Dev Ji 1st Guru
  • Born in 1469 during a time when
  • Rich exploited the poor
  • Women had no role in society
  • Land divided by religion
  • Caste system prevailed
  • Guru Nanak founded Sikhism based on equality and
    justice for all and taught us that all human
    beings regardless of skin color, wealth, caste,
    and gender are created equal.

Truth is high still higher is truthful living
- Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Guru Nanak Dev jis Principles
  • Naam Japo Chanting the Holy Name and
    thus remembering God at all
    times (ceaseless devotion to
  • Kirat Karo Earning/making a living
    honestly, without exploitation or fraud.
  • Vand Chakko Sharing with others, helping
    those with less who are in need.
  • These principles became the FOUNDATION of

The 10 Gurus
The 10 Gurus
  • Guru Nanak Dev ji Founded Sikhism
  • Guru Angad Dev ji Introduced new alphabet known
    as Gurmukhi Script, started langar
  • Guru Amardas ji Embodiment of Seva (service)
  • Guru Ramdas ji Built the holy city of Amritsar
  • Guru Arjan Dev ji Compiled Guru Granth Sahib,
    built Golden Temple, First Sikh Martyr
  • Guru Hargobind ji Miri (Temporal Strength) and
    Piri (Spiritual Strength)
  • Guru Har Rai ji Opened Free hospitals for those
    in need,
  • man breaks flowers with one hand and offers
    them with the other, but the flowers perfume both
    hands alike. The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet
    the sandal perfumes the axe. Guru Har Rai Ji

The 10 Gurus
  • Guru Har Krishan ji Devoted his life to helping
    the sick
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur ji - Championed religious
    freedom, martyred while fighting for religious
  • Guru Gobind Singh ji Created Khalsa (comes from
    the Persian word khalis meaning Pure),
  • A splendid Divine Light shone in the darkness of
    the night. Pir Bhikan Shah, a Muslim mystic
    performed his prayers in that Easterly direction
    (instead of towards the West, contrary to his
    daily practice), and guided by this Divine Light,
    he traveled with a group of his followers until
    he reached Patna Sahib in Bihar, India.

Birth of the Khalsa
  • During the spring of 1699, the Guru called his
    followers for a special gathering. Symbolized a
    revitalization of the Sikh identity and the
    evolution of the Sikh community into
    saint-soldiers. After initiating the five
    "beloved ones" into the new order of the Khalsa,
    the Guru knelt before them and requested that
    they initiate him.
  • Gave the names Singh (Lion) to men and Kaur
    (Princess) to women.
  • Khalsa Sikhs identified with the 5 Ks.

Articles of Faith
  • 5 Ks mandatory articles of faith
  • Kesh - Uncut hair Sikhs do not cut hair or
    beards to remain in the image that God gave
  • Kachera - Under-shorts (boxers) to represent
    modesty and fidelity (virtuous
  • Kanga - Comb, made of wood - to keep uncut
    hair neat and clean.
  • Kara - Bracelet, made of steel worn on right
    hand a reminder of noble actions, a symbol
    of eternity.
  • Kirpan - Ceremonial small blunt knife
    symbolizing freedom, liberty and

  • The Khanda is the double edged sword that
    represents Gods power, the circle is for
    continuity, the two outer swords for spiritual
    and political balance.

Sikh Beliefs
  • There is One God for all of creation, a
  • loving Creator attainable through the Grace
  • Goal is to be one with god
  • Selfless service towards the entire Creation
  • Truth, fearless, non-hateful spirit are
  • important in attaining salvation
  • Absolute equality of humanity
  • Defenders of social and spiritual justice
  • Living a moral, truthful and hardworking
  • Humility and loving action
  • Defending the rights of the downtrodden and

Bhai Kanhiya pioneer of the Red Cross
humanitarian aide organizations
Guru Granth Sahib ji
  • Guru means Spiritual teacher who dispels the
  • Granth implies a Scripture containing divine
  • Sahib is added as a mark of respect, which
    literally means The Master or The Lord.

Guru Granth Sahib ji
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru declared Guru
Granth Sahib Ji as the eternal Guru and ultimate
spiritual authority for the Sikhs.
  • Guru Granth Sahib -
  • the Sikh Scripture is purely monotheistic
  • 1430 pages
  • The Gurus Experience of the Divine
  • Also included were a few hymns from Hindu and
    Muslim saints who believed in ONE God
  • The main teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib are
    cultivating a real personal devotion to God,
    fostering compassion and service for people who
    are poor or suffering, and promoting equality and
    seeking harmony among all human beings
  • The central theme of the Guru Granth Sahib is
    concerned with the creation of a just social
    order and the commitment to social and gender
    equality and peaceful coexistence

Gurdwara Place of Worship
  • The Sikh religious service follows the
    traditions started by the 1st Guru to promote
    equality and alleviate suffering. It has 3
  • Sangat Community prayer through readings from
    the Guru Granth Sahib and singing of hymns
  • Pangat A sense of equality with everyone seated
    on the ground - at the same level.
  • Langar Community vegetarian meal for all.
  • Protocol to be observed in the Gurdwara
  • Heads covered
  • Shoes removed
  • Sit on floor
  • All are WELCOME

Gurdwara Place of Worship
The Golden Temple
  • The Golden Temple is the most sacred of places
    for the Sikhs.
  • To enter one has to descend stairs teaches
  • There are doors on all fours sides, which
    signifies that people from all over the world are
    invited irrespective of caste, color, religion,
    and race.
  • 24/7 Langar.

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Sikh Dastar (Turban)
  • Mandatory not a social or cultural article.
  • Covers long, uncut hair.
  • Approx. 15 feet of cloth wrapped neatly around
    the head.
  • Boys wear patka .
  • Symbolizes discipline, integrity, humility, and
  • Middle East head coverings different.
  • 99 of people wearing TURBANS in US are Sikhs,
    not Muslims or Hindus.

Types of Turbans
Sikh Dastar (Turban)
Importance of Identity
  • Sikhs feel severely humiliated if asked to remove
    their turban in public, as this breaks a sacred
    covenant with god and exposes an intimate part of
    the body.
  • It is very insulting and disrespectful to a Sikh
    to remove his or her turban.
  • Turbans are a mandatory part of Sikh faith.
  • A turban is not a hat. It cannot be casually
    taken on and off. It must be carefully retied
    each time it is removed.
  • Treat the turban with respect.

Dastar Bandi
  • A very important and exciting event in the life
    of a Sikh boy comes when he starts tying the
    turban (Usually between 10-14 years of age).
  • Family will have a special function to celebrate
    the occasion, which is called Dastar Bandi.
  • The boy is is seated in front of Guru Granth
    Sahib ji and an elder ties the turban on his
  • Prayers are said to invoke Guru's blessing for
    the boy.

Anand Karaj
  • The Sikh marriage is called 'Anand Karaj' which
    means the ceremony of joy. The Sikh wedding is
    held in the morning in a Gurdwara in the presence
    of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

One Soul in Two Bodies   "They are not said to be
husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather
they alone are called husband and wife, who have
one soul in two bodies."
(Guru Amar Das Ji, Pauri, pg 788, Sri Guru
Granth Sahib Ji)
Sikhs in North America
  • Arrived around late 1890s
  • Places
  • California, Oregon and Washington
  • British Columbia
  • Farming Lumber Industry
  • Immigration Barriers by 1920s

San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 1899
Vancouver Diamond Jubilee 1897 Hong Kong Regiment
Some Sikh Public Faces
Gurbax Singh Mahli First Turbaned Sikh in
Canadian Parliament
Dr. Manmohan Singh Indian Prime Minister
Baltej Singh Dhillon First Turbaned Sikh in
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Narinder Singh Kapani Father of Fiber Optics
T Sher Singh Recognized with the Order of Canada
Some Sikh Public Faces
Nuvraj Singh Bassi University of Oregon Football
Colonel Sekhon United States Army
Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Artists
Bhagat Singh Thind US Army 1912
Respect for All
  • Equality of all religions and people
  • Give relevance to God rather than religion
  • Believers of interfaith diversity
  • Sikhism believes that there are many paths to
    God. Anyone can achieve salvation irrespective of
    the religion that they follow if they endear God
    in their heart and daily actions

  • SikhiWiki (
  • SikhNet (
  • All About Sikhs (
  • Sikh Council USA (
  • GAISS (
  • SALDEF (
  • Sikh Coalition (