Sikhism (which is also called Sikhi or ਸਿੱਖੀ in Punjabi, the original language) is one of the major world religions, primarily developed in 16th and 17th century India. "Sikhi" comes from the word "Sikh", and the word "Sikh" comes from its Sanskrit root "śiṣya" (शिष्य) which means "disciple" or "learner". Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhi. He was born in 1469 in the village of Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day Pakistan.
The core beliefs of Sikhism are:
- The belief in one pantheistic God. The opening sentence of the Sikh scriptures is only two words long, and reflects the base belief of all who adhere to the teachings of the religion: Ek Onkar "Ek" is One and "Onkar" is God - "There is only one God."
- The teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus (as well as other accepted Muslim and Hindu saints and scholars) are enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib. These teachings propagate the following values:
- - to see God in everyone; understand and practice equality among all races irrespective of caste, religion, colour, status, age, gender, etc;
- - to remember God at all times; to always engage in Simran or "remembrance of God", the primal being; virtuous, merciful, bountiful, fearless and Creator of everything; be always aware of His persona and behave accordingly;
- - to value and respect positive ideals like truth, compassion, contentment, humility, love, etc; (a reflection of God-like features)
- - to suppression the inner evils like lust, anger/rage, greed, material attachment, ego, etc; (a reflection of anti-God features)
- - to aspire and engage in useful, productive, honest and peaceful life of a householder; to work diligently while holding the image of God within you; (Kirit Karni)
- - to engage in selfless service (Sewa) and help build a loving community life; to be a contributor to society whenever possible; (Wand kay shakna)
- - to be ready to protect and stand for the rights of the weak among us; to fight for justice and fairness for all;
- - to always accept the Will of God, (Hukam) and stay focused and in "Positive Spirits" (Chardikala), etc
The Guru Granth Sahib is a sacred text considered by Sikhs to be their eleventh and final Guru. Sikhism was influenced by reform movements in Hinduism (e.g. Bhakti, monism, Vedic metaphysics, guru ideal, and bhajans) as well as Sufi Islam. It departs from some of the social traditions and structure of Hinduism and Islam (such as the caste system and purdah, respectively). Sikh philosophy is characterised by logic, comprehensiveness, and a "without frills" approach to both spiritual and material concerns. Its theology is marked by simplicity. In Sikh ethics there is no conflict between an individual’s duty to oneself and that towards society.