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Sikhism The Sikh religion has an estimated 18,000,000 to 21,000,000 followers or Sikhs. Sikh was founded by Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (born in 1469) of the Punjab state in Northwest India in the 1400's. (NOTE: Siri, Shri and Sri are equivalent, a respectful title that is pronounced as spelled or by some as, "shree" or "sree",)

Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji specifically criticized Hinduism and Islam. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion marked by the rejection of idolatry and caste (that are characteristics of Hinduism, which is also native to India). Also, Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as visiting places of pilgrimage (that is characteristic of Islam).

The word "Sikh" is derived from the word "Sisya" (in the Punjabi language, which originated from Sanskrit), which means "Disciple". Sikhs are seekers of the truth and worship only one God, TRUTH. In Sikhism, the name for God (the Supreme Being) is SAT NAM or simply, SAT (in the Punjabi language) or TRUTH (in the English language). Also, God never incarnated (or incarnates) in human form.

The word "Guru" is derived from the root words "Gu" (darkness or ignorance) and "Ru" (light or knowledge). A Guru is the Light and Experience of TRUTH (God).

The foundation scripture of the Sikh religion is titled The SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI, which was a work by founder Siri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and a succession of nine other gurus. These scriptures were first compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev, in 1604. The second and final version was completed by the tenth and last guru, Siri Guru Gobind Singh in the year 1705. Siri Guru Gobind Singh (who died in 1708) did not train another guru to be his successor and instead, proclaimed these scriptures to be the ONLY LIVING GURU.

The first word (by Guru Nanak) of the SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI is "EK Onkar", pronounced "Ek Ong Kar" means "We are all ONE created by ONE Creator". EK means 'ONE'. Onkar is derived from the Sanskrit word AUM (or OM). AUM is a symbol (same as in the religion Hinduism) representing the Trinity of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver) and Shiva (Destroyer), which are the three fundamental aspects of God (the Supreme Being).

Besides finalizing the The SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI scriptures, Siri Guru Gobind Singh made many other significant changes. He established the Khalsa (or The Pure) order (or brotherhood and sisterhood) with a very strict code of conduct. Most notably is the Sikh code of dress and appearance. A male Sikh is easily distinguished from Hindus and Muslims by his untrimmed beard and uncut hair protected by a distinctive (perfectly pre-wrapped) turban. Also, women were given equal status to men, as Sikhism believes all people are equal.

Siri Guru Gobind Singh also eliminated Sikh priests or ministers. There are now only custodians of The SIRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI scriptures.

Most Sikhs practice Kundalini Yoga, which involve the Chakras.


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