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Golden Temple, Amritsar

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Introduction

Golden Temple, Amritsar The Golden Temple in Amritsar serves as the most important house of worship for the Sikhs. Originally built in 1604, the temple sustained repeated damage from attacks by Afghan invaders. During the early 19th-century reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the temple was rebuilt using marble, copper, and an overlay of gold foil. The temple sits on a small island and connects with land on the west by way of a marble causeway, foreground. Amritsar, city in northern India, in Punjab State, near Lahore, Pakistan. The city, surrounded by a fertile region where grain, sugarcane, and cotton are produced, is an important trade, transportation, and manufacturing center with extensive textile and chemical industries. Amritsar was founded in 1574 by Ram Das, a guru, or teacher, of the Sikh religion. In the city is the principal shrine of Sikhism, the Golden Temple, surrounded by the sacred Amrita Saras (Pool of Immortality), in which Sikhs bathe to become spiritually purified. ...read more.

Middle

In the days of rioting that followed, at least 1000 Sikhs were killed by Hindu mobs. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as prime minister hours after his mother's death.2 Influenced by the devotional emphasis of bhakti Hinduism and Sufi Islam, Sikhism stresses the unity, truth, and creativity of a personal God and urges union with him through meditation on his title, the Name (Nam), and surrender to his will. It also advocates active service rather than the Hindu ideal of ascetic withdrawal. Loyalty and justice are admired, smoking and intoxicants forbidden. Sikhism also rejects the Hindu caste system, priesthood, image worship, and pilgrimage, although it retains the Hindu doctrines of transmigration and karma. The ultimate spiritual authority is the Adi Granth, consisting of hymns by the ten Sikh gurus (Hindi, "teachers") and Hindu and Muslim devotional poetry in several languages. All Sikhs may read the Adi Granth, which is the focus of devotion at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikh religious center.3 History Nanak, the saintly first guru, wandered over India seeking converts. ...read more.

Conclusion

In response to years of agitation, the Indian government created Punjab as a single Punjabi-speaking state in 1966; it remains the home of most of India's more than 16 million Sikhs. Terrorism by Sikh separatists demanding greater autonomy led the Indian government in June 1984 to send in troops to seize the Golden Temple from Sikh extremists, who vowed to avenge the violence. Sikh members of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's personal guard were implicated in her assassination on October 31. In 1985 an accord was finally reached with the Indian government on expanding Punjab. Sikh terrorists then stepped up their activities, demanding the establishment of a Sikh state, Khalistan. In 1992 the government sent in police and army reinforcements and reestablished its authority in Punjab. 4 2"India," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved. 3"Sikhs," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved. 4"Sikhs," Microsoft(r) Encarta(r) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved. ...read more.

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