Nature and Deity
There is One God, who is the true Guru (teacher). Unbound by time or space
and beyond human definition, he makes himself known to those who are
Understanding of Beginnings
God is the creator of all; so all life is good. Attachment to this world means
rAebirth, so that release from this world is the highest goal.
Conception of Time
Time is cyclical, and beliefs associated with time are similar to those of
Mortality (and Afterlife)
Each individual has many reincarnations, but being born a human means the
soul is nearing the end of rebirth. God judges each soul at death and may
either reincarnate the soul or, if pure enough, allow it to rest with him.
The Guru Granth Sahib, a collection of writings and hymns by some of the
ten Gurus of Sikhism, plus material from Muslim and Hindu writers. It was
compiled mid-16th century and was made the eleventh and final Guru of
Sikhism at the death of the tenth Guru in 1708.
Prophets and Founders
Guru Nanak (1469-1539) was the first Guru of Sikhism and was followed by
nine more human Gurus. The tenth and last was Guru Gobind Singh
(1675-1780), who appointed the Scriptures, the Granth Sahib, as the final
Rites of Birth and Death
At birth, the Mool mantra, the core teaching of Sikhism, is whispered into the
baby's ear. The baby is named at the gurdwara, or place of worship. The
Guru Granth Sahib is opened and the first letter of the first word on the page
gives the first letter of the baby's name. At death, the body is cremated and
the ashes thrown onto running water.
Festivals and Calendar Events
Baisakhi celebrates the foundation of the Khalsa; other major festivals
include the Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the birthday of Guru Nanak, the
founder of Sikhism; the Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur; and the birthday
of Guru Gobind Singh.
Teaching About Religion
in support of civic pluralism