The Akalis

The Akalis (later known as Nihangs) believed in asceticism and celibacy. They also believed in the use of bhang (hashish) also called Sukha or Sukh Nidhan (treasure of bliss) for meditative purposes. They believe in three Granths: The Adi Granth (Primal/First Book), the Dasam Granth (Book of the Tenth Guru) and the Sarob Loh Granth (Book of the All-Steel). They believe that all have equal status and supplement each other; in the Akali/Nihang perspective it is not possible to fully comprehend the Adi Granth without the other two Granths. The Akalis also believe in the itinerant idea of chakravorty, that is to be always on the move. They believe that they are the fifth and only moving Takht (throne of authority) that keeps a check on the four stationary Takhts - which have become institutionalised. However this is not recognised by orthodox Sikhs. The Nihangs believe in the oral tradition of giving kathas (oral discourses on the scripture), and do not write down their history. Today not all Nihangs are celibate, some marry and some till the land. Nihangs believe that they are the real Khalsa who practice martial arts and live their lives as Guru Gobind Singh outlined. The Nihangs therefore strongly believe and rigidly adhere to the rahit (code of conduct). The Akalis (Immortals, or Followers of the Timeless One), or as they are now known Nihangs (meaning 'free from worldly

  • Word count: 797
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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The Apostle of Obedience

Guru Angad Dev The Apostle of Obedience The atrocities, committed by the Muslim invaders, had, no doubt, put the indigenous population of India into great suffering. But the impact of the Brahmanical malpractices was much greater. Through the convention of rituals and caste discrimination the Hindu priesthood was plundering the innocent people. Under such circumstances Bhai Lehna was born on March 31, 1504, AD, at village Mate-dee-Saran in the present District of Ferzpore in Punjab. His father, Baba Pheru Mal, ran a successful business of rope making. His mother, Mai Daya Kaur was a very pious lady. He was married to Bibi Kheevi, the daughter of Devi Chand in the year 1519 AD. Although Bhai Lehna was an ardent devotee of the Goddess Vaishnu Devi and used to go to her Temple in the Hills every year on pilgrimage, he was disillusioned with the Brahmanical liturgy. While passing through the vicinity of Kartarpur, on his way to the Temple, he had often heard about the Unversal mission of Guru Nanak, his Gurbani (the celestial revelations) and non-sectarian teachings. It was in the year 1532 AD when he decided to go and see Baba Nanak. Once he was there the divine light transcended and the man, who was born in luxuries of an affluent Khatri family, became the humble and most obedient disciple of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was busy in his rice fields when Bhai Lehna, dressed up in

  • Word count: 1634
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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Guru Nanak, the Apostle of Humanity 1469--1539

Guru Nanak, the Apostle of Humanity 469--1539 A turmoil was enveloping the Indian scene in the fifteenth century A.D. The political domain was in the grip of a pandemonium; the Pathan and the Mughal rulers were at daggers drawn and the poor populace was constantly trampled over. The impersonators and imposters were plundering the realm of religion. The caste discrimination was tearing off the social set up and brotherhood. The womanhood was brutally subjugated. Health, wealth and honour, all had become defenseless. Such was the predicament at the advent of Guru Nanak, the first Supreme preceptor of the Sikh Religion. He was born in the house of a revenue official, Mehta Kalu, in the year 1469 at Talwandi, in District Sheikhupura (now in Pakistan). Nearly first thirty years of his life Guru Nanak minutely studied and experienced himself with all the temporal aspects of the human life. On full moon day in the month of Kartrik in the year 1469, he emerged from his contemplative trance, and declared the real purpose of his manifestation into the mundane world. His first message to mankind echoed the Universal Brotherhood, "Na koi Hindu, na koi Musalman." To reform a society and to re-instill in it the human values, a reformist needs courage to expose the exploiters. Guru Nanak was not only endowed with Godly vision but also with the fortitude to speak against the societal

  • Word count: 1291
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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Sikhism Coursework - Describe and explain the main features of a Gurdwara.

Sikhism Coursework a) Describe and explain the main features of a Gurdwara The Gurdwara is the Sikh place of worship. Gurdwara means 'the Guru's door' thus it is God's house. The Gurdwara is a place where all people are welcome as it is God's house. The Gurdwara is also a community centre and many events take place there; such as Punjabi lessons for young people. Outside the Gurdwara building, there is a flag called the Nishan Sahib. It is orange with the Sikh symbol on it (the khanda). The Nishan Sahib is replaced each year during the festival of Baisakhi. The main title of the Nishan Sahib is to show that the building it surrounds is a Sikh place of worship. The most important thing in the Gurdwara is the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the Sikh Holy book). This holy book is treated with the respect of a living Guru, as Sikhs believe it has the Guru's spirit within it. It is placed on a platform to show respect. This is where a human Guru would stand so that more people could see and hear him. It is also fanned with a Chauri, made of feathers or yak's hair, as this is what would have happened in India to the Guru. It shows respect and that the Guru Granth Sahib is given the same treatment as a human Guru. The Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Diwan Hall by day. Diwan Hall means 'Royal Court'. The Diwan Hall is the prayer hall and is in two parts - one for the men and one for

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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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'Women play a special role in religious life.' How far is this true in relation to any religion you have studied?

Chance Divinity Essay 2004 Jaspreet Kular L5a 'Women play a special role in religious life.' How far is this true in relation to any religion you have studied? This essay will be examining the role and status of women in Sikhism and whether they do indeed play a special role in religious life. I personally believe that women do play a special and even important role within religious life, from my own experience at least within my own religion (Sikhism). Nevertheless the role and status of women in Indian society has been somewhat ambivalent. While women enjoyed a high status in Vedic society as equal partner of man in all walks of life, her position deteriorated in the years to come. In later Vedic periods women were relegated to the background and came to be treated as inferior to man with her role confined to the four walls of the household. Manu, the first codifier of the Hindu law, wrote: "From cradle to grave, a woman is dependant on man- in childhood on her father, in youth on her husband and in old age on her son." Her position suffered a further setback as a result of frequent invasions and subsequent establishment of Muslim rule in India and the introduction of Purdah and other rituals. However, it goes to the credit of Guru Nanak Ji and the successive Gurus who not only restored to Indian women the position and dignity which they had lost over the

  • Word count: 1426
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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Sikh Dharma, the youngest of the world religions, is barely five hundred years old. Its founder, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469.

Sikh Dharma, the youngest of the world religions, is barely five hundred years old. Its founder, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469. Guru Nanak spread a simple message of "Ek Ong Kar": we are all one, created by the One Creator of all Creation. This was at a time when India was being torn apart by castes, sectarianism, religious factions, and fanaticism. He aligned with no religion, and respected all religions. He expressed the reality that there is one God and many paths, and the Name of God is Truth, "Sat Nam". A way of life and philosophy well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The wisdom of these teachings in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are practical and universal in their appeal to all mankind. "I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The Lord of universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are one; From Hindus and Muslims

  • Word count: 986
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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How To Be Wed Properly In The Punjabi Tradition

How To Be Wed Properly In The Punjabi Tradition From the time they are little, girls dream about one day being a bride. Regardless of the culture girls are excited about dressing up, and looking beautiful for their handsome "Prince Charming". This is certainly true for girls in the Punjabi culture. In the East-Indian Tradition there is a special sequence of ceremonial events. First, in modern times the couple announces their engagement. Everyone is delighted and a party takes place. At the engagement party, the bride's parents give the groom's parents a Shagan, a gift of money. During the ceremonial party the families exchange other gifts. The bride's mother presents the groom with a silver platter, Thaal, covered with symbols of the Sikh faith: sweets, saffron, and flowers. As well he receives some gold jewelry. At this point the bride and groom exchange rings of promise, now the couple are officially engaged. The next day the families invite a Guru to come and set the date of the wedding, according to the alignment of the stars when the bride and groom were born. After the engagement, the second event of importance is the Shri Akhand Path. This is a marathon of prayer in which the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, is read continuously for a period of forty-eight hours to ensure that this is a sacred union. This ceremony takes place a few

  • Word count: 517
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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What Are the Qualities That Have Kept Kim Constantly In Print For a Century?

WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES THAT HAVE KEPT KIM CONSTANTLY IN PRINT FOR A CENTURY? First of all to examine the qualities of this book we should approach it as an adventure story probably aimed primarily at adolescent boys. In this book the main character Kim is seeking to find his place in the country in which he was born, while at the same time struggling to find, or build, an identity for him. 'Who is Kim?' 'What is Kim?' Kim asks himself at several points in the novel, and although the plot has a loose picaresque structure, being held together by a journey, making it a kind of road novel, the theme of Kim needing to find himself seems to be the backbone of the story. The quest for meaning of existence is called existentialism. Kim has also been seen as the best of a genre among 19th century schoolboys, the historical adventure story. These stories normally involved a boy-hero travelling around the empire. It is common that they revolve around wars against 'native people' in remote colonies. It was normal for a schoolboy to perceive a 'native' as a cannibal. Kim can be seen as different from the majority of these novels as it is not racist or one-sided. Kim maybe British but is influenced almost entirely by his upbringing into Indian life. Kim also has complex personality, which matures as he learns from other personalities, such as the lama. By birth Kim is a white, Irish

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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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A Sikh marriage.

QUESTION (A) A Sikh marriage Assisted marriage rather than arranged marriage is the phrase Sikhs would prefer to describe the procedure of choosing a husband or a wife. The family assists in finding a partner. Suitability should have as its criteria virtuous qualities, temperament and age. Social status, economic position and caste considerations also play an important role. On the morning of the wedding day the groom's sister-in-law and other female relatives go to a Gurduwara to fill an earthen pitcher or gharoli with water, which is then used to bathe the groom. Thereafter khare charna is performed in which the groom is made to sit on a stool for his bath and four girls hold a cloth to his head. A similar bathing ritual is performed at bride's house as well. The bride is then made to wear 21 bangles in red ivory and kalerien (dangling golden metal plates). The Anand form of marriage was given statutory recognition in 1909, under the Anand marriage act, it has been observed since early days of Sikhism. Sikh boys and girls are married according to its form when they grown-up and fit to undertake matrimonial responsibilities. Marriages are generally arranged and assisted by parents. Though there is no bar to the boy and the girl arranging it on their own. The marriage ceremony is simple but impressive. The bride and the bridegroom along with their relatives and friends

  • Word count: 1613
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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drama of sikhism

(........ comes walking in ) ......: granny how does a Sikh funeral take place Sophie: well sanjeet this is how a funeral takes place... (...........take places and ...... lies down and ...... and ....... Act as though you are praying) Sophie: first after a person has passed away they wash the body to keep it clean for the carnation... ...... what does carnation mean? Sophie: it means to die and to come back to life as a different form. .............: oh so I could come back to life as a cricket! Sophie: yes! As I was saying, so the body is washed and covered in a white cloak by family members ready to be burnt to ashes. (.............act as though you are covering ...........) Sophie: they are then taken to a part where they can be cremated... .............: meaning? Sophie: to be burnt. There hymns are recited which induce feeling of detachment the congregation. This was given to the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh. .............: what we are reading has not been taken to heart and we are only reading a small part of the prayer as it goes on for a long time. .............: just because we are reading it does not mean we believe in it so please do not think we do. (Start acting as though you are praying) Ek-Oankar. Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh God is One. All victory is of the Wondrous Guru (God). Sri Pagothi ji Sahai May the respected sword (God in the form of the

  • Word count: 480
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
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