Little Bits of History

Well Being with Sikhs

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 30, 2012

Ram Das Ji

August 30, 1574: Ram Das Ji becomes Guru. He was born in Lehore, Punjab, Pakistan (now India) in 1534. He married Bibi Bhani who was the younger daughter of Guru Amar Das who was the third Guru of the Sikhs. Ram Das became the fourth of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He was instrumental in organizing the structure of Sikh society. He was the author of four hymns of the Sikh Marriage Rites. He also founded the town of Ramdaspur which is now a Sikh holy city. He wrote many more hymns and 688 are included in the Guru Granth Sahib – a book of teachings for Sikhs.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab region in the 15th century. Guru Nanak Dev was the first guru. Today, it is the fifth-largest world religion and has over 25 million followers. They follow a philosophy called Gurmat, meaning “of the gurus” which was designed by the Ten Gurus. Devout Sikhs are to embody the ideal of “Sant-Sipahie” or saint-soldier. This means they must have control over their vices and be immersed in virtues. Their principle beliefs are Faith and Justice. They advocate for salvation through personal meditation centered on the name and message of God.

Sikhism is a revealed religion and is based not on a final destination of heaven or hell, but rather on a spiritual union with God which results in salvation. The Khalsa Code of Conduct is the official guide for Sikhs and was laid out by the last of the Ten Gurus. They do not believe in reincarnation; this is your chance to reach salvation. In the Khalsa, members are said to be part of the Army of God. They are not the army of the Punjab nor the Sikhs. They are tasked with protecting and safeguarding all people regardless of religion, color, race, or creed.

Between 1469 and 1708, the Ten Gurus were able to lay down the foundations for the new religion and give an underlying structure for believers to follow. Guru means teacher, guide, or mentor. As each new leader emerged, he reinforced previous teachings and laid down new ones to help define the religious tenets. Today, Punjab is the only place on Earth with a Sikh majority however there are many who live outside the region in India and small enclaves elsewhere around the globe.

I have studied the scriptures of the great religions, but I do not find elsewhere the same power of appeal to the heart and mind as I find here in these volumes. – Pearl S. Buck on Sikhs

If some lucky men survive the onslaught of the third world war of atomic and hydrogen bombs, then the Sikh religion will be the only means of guiding them.  – Bertrand Russell

Unlike the scriptures of other creeds, they do not contain love stories or accounts of wars waged for selfish considerations. They contain sublime truths, the study of which cannot but elevate the reader spiritually, morally, and socially. – Max Arthur Macauliffe

British people are highly indebted and obliged to Sikhs for a long time. I know that within this century we needed their help twice and they did help us very well. As a result of their timely help, we are today able to live with honour, dignity, and independence. – Winston Churchill

Also on this day:

Yesterdays and Todays – In 1909, the Burgess Shale site was discovered.
Thin Red Line – In 1963, a direct link between Washington, D.C. and Moscow was established.
Wreck of the Pandora – In 1791, the Pandora sinks.

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