The Sikhs Essay Research Paper In the

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The Sikhs Essay, Research Paper In the year 1469 a man named Guru Nanak was born into a Punjabi-Hindu family. His name means "He who was born at the home of his mother’s parents", which was in Talwandi, near Labone ("Sikhs" 647). We know little about Nanak’s life but a lot about his beliefs from a book called " Adi Granth" or " Granth Sahib", which means holy book. Some of his beliefs were the reality of "karma" and "reincarnation".These are beliefs that our actions in this life determine how high or low we’ll be in our next life. The Hindus and Muslims believe it is best to worship, missionize, study and write the sacred scriptures, and other religious public actions and behaviors. Nanak believed that this is

wrong. He felt that the people should be involved in inward meditation to the God, Akal Purakh (Nanak was a monotheist, believing in one god). Nanak believed that Akal Purakh is the almighty creator and sustainer of the universe and he has no form. If one is truly devoted to Akal then Akal may reveal himself to you in "nam" or the divine name. Since Akal created the world and everything in it then, the world can be considered an expression of "nam",(McLeod 5). Akal, to reveal himself through "nam", speaks the "sabad" or divine word, through a loyal believer. This believer acts as the eternal guru, or teacher, speaking in the mystical voice of Akal through the "sabad". A guru can achieve this divine harmony with Akal by the

practice of "nam simaran". This can be accomplished in many ways. One way is by the repeating of a "mantra", a word that expresses the divine reality. Another way is to sing devotional songs or even to have deep mystical concentration. Guru Nanak attracted many disciples, or "sikha" (this is where the name Sikh comes from). These "sikhas" were the original Sikhs. Before Guru Nanak died he appointed a successor from among his disciples to be the second guru. This started the chain of the ten Sikh gurus which lasted 439 years from the birth of Nanak to the death of Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, in the year 1708, ("Hindus and Sikhs" 11). Nanak appointed as his successor Lehna or Lahina, who later changed his name to Angad (Angada was

a lesser legendary hero of that time). Guru Angad is the person responsible for the thinking up the idea of a "Granth Sahib", the holy book. Angad appointed as his successor Amar Das, who did two things that differed from Nanak’s beliefs. He made his own village, Goindual, a city for pilgrims, though Nanak said that missionizing was not good. In addition, Amar Das collected materials for the forming of "Granth Sahib", though Nanak said you shouldn’t make sacred writings. Guru Amar Das appointed, as his successor, his son-in-law Jetha or Ram Das. Guru Ram Das built the golden temple in Amritsar on the land given to him by emperor Akbor. Before then the Guru- ship was given to someone who deserved it, but from that point on it was given to a family member.

So, Ram Das gave it to his third son Arjan Dev, a legendary hero of his time. Guru Arjan Dev put together the "Granth Sahib", supposedly taking it from the works of Amar Das. Before he died, Guru Arjan told his son Hargobind to wear, when he became Guru, not one but two swords because one stood for "piri", the continuing authority of the Guru and the other stood for "miri" the newly assumed secular authority (McLeod 4). It was from his secular authority that the Panth or Sikh community developed, always arming themselves out of fear of the Mughal forces. The death of Arjan is not clear but it probably did occur while he was in Mughal custody. Guru Hargobind was forced to change the Panth from Nanak-Panth, the Panth similar to the days of Nanak, to a