Ik Onkaar - There Is Only One God
Sikhism is one of the younger faiths of the world, as compared with religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam. It is a monotheistic faith, preaching the existence of only one God, and teaching ideals that may be universally accepted today and in the future: honesty, compassion, humility, piety, social commitment, and most of all tolerance for other religions.
The word 'Sikh', derived from the Sanskrit word 'shishya', means a disciple, a learner, a seeker of truth. A Sikh believes in One God and the teachings of the Ten Gurus, embodied in the Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. Additionally, he or she must take Amrit, the Sikh Baptism.
Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The succeeding nine Gurus nurtured and developed his ideas and teachings. Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru, brought to an end to the line of human Gurus and in 1708, installed Guru Granth Sahib, as the permanent Guru of the Sikhs.
The Sikh Gurus provided guidance for about 240 years. They taught the basic values of freedom, brotherhood, charity, obedience, understanding, sympathy, patience, humility, simplicity, and piety, and outlined the path to spirituality in life. The Gurus themselves said that they were human and were not to be worshipped as God. They considered themselves to be mere servants of God. Guru Gobind Singh said:
"See me only as the slave of God.
Let this be known beyond the shadow of doubt."
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