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Why we are called Sikhs? Sikh name to Sikh religion which Guru Ji gave. I am Sikh since generations. I am proud of being a Sikh. Sikhism is the best modern and progressive religion. Non Sikhs ask me and I want answers for the following questions. 1. Which Guru Ji started Sikh religion? 2. In which year Guru Ji started Sikh religion? 3. At which place Guru Ji started Sikh religion? 4. In which place and year Guru Ji declared that my religion name is “Sikh” 5. In which place and year which Guru Ji declared that my religion is a separate from others, and it is a separate Kaum also. If any Guru Ji made Sikhs a separate Kaum (nation) he must have written in SGGS. 6. Is our Sikh religion a religion or Kaum(nation) While answering please mention name of book and page, edition year etc. I tried very hard to find answers to these questions from old Janam Sakhis, Panth Prakash, Gur bilas, Suraj Prakash, Guru Granth Sahib, Bhai Gurdas Ji and Dasam Granth also. But no where it is written about my questions. Please do not quote from Modern history books. Please help me.
“Namdharis” to whom the whole sikh community does not consider “Sikhs”, their present head Thakur Dalip Singh is talking about expensation of Sikhism. The way he (Dalip Singh) is talking to promote our sikh religion, nobody talks like him amongst our selfs. We guys are always mad at each other, fighting over the useless petty issues and use abusive language. Even though we don’t accept namdhari as “Sikhs” but we must watch his video and try to understand his concept of promoting “Sikhism”.
1 Submission to the Will of God (WAHEGURU) Guru Nanak Dev ji gave the message of “Hukam Rajayee Chalna Nanak Likheya Naal“. Guru Nanak Dev ji says that everything happens by God’s Grace, so Rest assured that God knows better what is right or wrong for us. We should, therefore, accept His decisions without any grudge or question. 2. There is One God Guru Nanak Dev ji said, ” I am neither Hindu Nor Muslim, I am a follower of god”, which actually spoke about his belief in one god. In Sikhism, the god is omnipresent, shapeless, timeless, and sightless. ( Nirankar, akar, alakh). Sikhism stress that, before creation there was God, and because of His will ( Hukam), the Illusion ( maya of attachment and enticement) came into being. The God in Sikhism is not male/female, and can only be seen through inward eye. Guru Nanak Dev ji explained one thing clearly that there is only One who gives to Everyone and we should not forget to Him. The Guru stressed that full knowledge of god is impossible in human form. 3. Goodwill for all – SARBAT DAA BHALAA Guru Nanak dev ji passed the message of Universal brotherhood. He said that religion is not mere consistence of words but actually looks all men and women equally. Universal brotherhood is a strong theme in Gurbani written by Guru Nanak Dev ji. In our prayer, we say this line towards the end of daily Ardaas – “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Tere Bhane Sarbat da bhala”, which can be translated as “Nanak asks for ‘Naam’ (name of God) with which comes well being, happiness and positive spirit and with your blessings, Lord may everyone in the world prosper and be in peace“ or can be broken down as: Nanak, With Naam comes Chardi Kala and with your blessings, may there be peace for all We request Him for the welfare of the whole humanity and not just of our community or our family alone. 4. SACH SUNAISI SACH KEE BELA – (to speak the truth) Guru Nanak Dev Ji told in front of King Babar “You are not Babar but JABAR”. We should always speak the truth without any fear. According to the Guru’s doctrine, the victory of truth is not dependent on ending or suppressing falsehood but in standing firmly by truth. That is why Guru Nanak Dev ji exhorts that to stick to truth and to remain on the side of truth when it is necessary is very essential – Sach ki bani Nanak aakhai sach sunaisi sach ki bela I have related the true Word of the True Lord as per His Will. 5. SEWA AND SIMRAN Guru Nanak says that no one can save anybody else. It is only Guru who guides us to safety, and to be saved, one have to follow the right path of SEWA and SIMRAN told by him. Further the Guru is not to be found in big palaces, he lives with poor. Let us love the poor, God will bless us. If we recite Gurbani with love, we will find the Guru is speaking to us. We have been reminded of his observations many times in our life. When we barely make both ends meet, we are usually sincerely devoted to GURBANI and the Sikh way of life. But when we have excess money to spend on worldly pleasures we follow vices and ignore the real mission of human life. DHARAM is usually the first casualty when we become rich. About SEWA Gurbani explains: (In the midst of this world, do SEWA and you shall be given a place of honour in the Court of the Lord) 6 The three Principals Vand Chako: Sharing with others, helping those with less who are in need Kirat Karo: Earning/making a living honestly, without exploitation or fraud Naam Japna: Chanting the Holy Name and thus remembering God at all times (ceaseless devotion to God) 7 Shun five Evils GuruNanak Dev Ji asked his followers to shun five evils which leads to illusion ( maya) which eventually acts as roadblock towards attainment of salvation. The five evils are Ego, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Lust. 8 Importance of Guru Guru Nanak Dev ji lay great emphasis on having the importance of Guru in one’s life. He put forward the thought that salvation occurs not from pilgrimage or rites etc, but through heart, spirit and soul. For this to happen continuous seeking of knowledge must take place which is dependent on one’s guru. Guru according to him is the voice of the god, the true source of knowledge and salvation. 9. No Discrimination Guru Nanak Dev ji was strongly against all artificially created divisions and all discrimination, both in word and deed. He said that the caste of a person is based on what he does. His idea of a caste-free society transpired also in his concepts of Sangat and Pangat. 10. Against Rituals/Superstitions Guru Nanak Dev Ji preached against superstitions, false rituals, worship of demi-gods and goddesses. He stressed that only One God, the Formless, is to be glorified. In this way, he showed the path of truth and enlightenment. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/11/top-10-key-lessons-teachings-from-guru-nanak-dev-ji-life/
EARLIER LIFE Guru Ramdas ji earlier known as Bhai Jetha was born at Chuna Mandi, Lahore in the house of Bhai Hari Das, a Khatri of the Sodhi clan and Anup Devi on 24 September 1534 (25 Assu, Sammat 1591). His parents were too poor to meet even the daily needs and he had to earn his living by selling boiled and salted grams (brown chana). Both the parents of Bhai Jetha expired when he was only seven years of age. Being left as an orphan, his nani (grandmother) took him to Baserke, her village. His grand-parents were also very poor. When he grew up, he started selling sweetened grams (ghunganian) to make his living. Once Bhai Jetha happened to hear about Guru Amardas ji and then he joined a group of devotees to visit him at Goindwal. There he was enchanted with the holy atmosphere of Goindwal and decided to settle there. There he resumed his profession of selling boiled grams and he also began to take part in the religious congregations held by Guru Amardas Sahib. He also made active participation in the development of Goindwal Sahib. Here, he also started studying langiages, such, Gurmukhi, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian. MARRIAGE TO BIBI BHANI Bhai Jetha Ji was very handsome and grew tall. He also took keen interest in Sikhism and used to remain busy serving the congregation after his day’s work of selling boiled and salted grams. Bibi Bhani had been also busy in serving the congregation of Guru Amardas Ji. Both were growing up as goods Sikhs with great interest in learning about Sikhism and its principles. In due course the far-sighted Guru Amar Das got Bhai Jetha married to his daughter Bibi Bhani. Inspite of becoming the son-in-law of Guru Amardas ji, Bhai Jetha treated him as ‘Guru’ andAfter the marriage, he stayed with his father-in-law and deeply associated himself with the activities of Sikhism in the Gurdwara. Bhai Jetha Ji and Bibi Bhani Ji had three sons; Prithi Chand Ji, Mahadev Ji and Arjan Dev Ji (Guru) Ji and commanded full confidence of Guru Amardas ji and often accompanied him when the latter went on long missionary tours to different parts of India. CHAK RAMDAS Bhai Jetha was directed by Guru Amar Das to set up a new township at the site marked by the Guru. This place was called ‘Guru-Chak’, later known as Chak Ramdas or Ramdaspura. Subsequently when Guru Ram Das had a holy pool constructed on this spot, the place came to be known as Amristsar or the ‘Pool of Immortality’. Phrase came to be associated with the tank dug at Amritsar which was “Ramdas Sarovar Nahate, Sab uttre paap kamate“ The water to the tank was brought from River Ravi, a rare feat in those days. The new city (Chak Ramdas Pur) flourished soon as it was situated at the centre of international trade routes. It grew into an important center of trade in Punjab after Lahore. Guru Ramdas Sahib himself invited many merchants and artisans from the different walks of life and trades. Later on, it proved to be step of far-reaching importance. It provided a common place of worship to the Sikhs and paved the way for the future guidelines for Sikhism as a different religion. Guru Ram Das Sahib introduced Masand system in place of Manji system and this step played a great role in the consolidation of Sikhism. BECOMING GURU RAM DAS As Guru Amardas ji was getting older, he was in search of his successor. Guru ji’s eldest daughter, Bibi Dani was married to Rama ji who was a zealous Sikh. He used to work in Guru’s kitchen and administer the needs of the pilgrims. One day he put both of his son-in-laws, Rama ji and Bhai Jetha to test. He asked them to make a platform beside the Baoli. They both made the platform many times, but the Guru did not approve of either of the platforms saying that these are not what I desired. At this, Rama ji gave up and dissnted and said that it was exactly as Guru ji had told and that he fully understood the requirements to fully conform to them. After a long argument he refused to build it third time and said that Guru ji was having a lapse of memory because of his advancing age. Bhai Jetha ji however pleaded, “I am a fool, I am erring and of mean understanding, while you possess all knowledge”. He demolished it again and rebuilt the third time. The Guru ji continued to find the fault with it untill it was destroyed and rebuilt seven times. Jetha ji was in tears and fell at Guru ji’s feet and begged, “I am a fool and with my limited understanding, cannot comprehend your vision. Kindly bless me so that my hands do your bidding and I may be able to erect the platform of your vision.” On hearing this, Guru Amardas ji smiled and blessed him saying, “Obeying my order, you have built the platform seven times, without any expectation. The Guru’s throne rightfully belongs to you.” Baba Budha ji annotated Jetha and renamed him to Guru Ramdas. Guru Amar Das ji placed coconut and five paisa at his feer and declared him as his successor Guru. Before his departure, Guru Amar Das ji also handed over the written records of previous Gurus to him at the time of his succession. GURBANI AND SEWA Guru Ram Das continued the tradition of Kirtan (holy music), langar and sewa (selfless service). During his Guruship period, Guru Ram Das always emphasized the value of sewa, which should be the primary duty of every Sikh and his family. Besides every Sikh should be engaged in honest labour during which the name of God should always be on ones lips. This would bring happiness in the world and mukti or liberation from the painful process of birth and death. Guru Ramdas ji strengthened the Sikhism a step further by composing Four Lawans and advised the Sikhs to recite them in order to solemnize the marriages of their children. Thus he introduced a new matrimonial system based upon Sikhism instead of Hindu’s Vedi system. Thus this distinct marriage code for the Sikhs separated them from the orthodox and traditional Hindu system. also made rapprochement with different sects of Udasis through Baba Shri Chand Ji. He, like his predecessors carried forward the tradition of Guru ka Langer. Superstitions, caste system and pilgrimages were strongly decried. He wrote 638 hymns in 30 ragas, these include 246 Padei 138 Saloks, 31 Ashtpadis and 8 Vars and are a part of Guru Granth Sahib. LAST DAYS AND PASSING OF GURUSHIP He nominated his youngest son (Guru) Arjan Dev Ji as Fifth Nanak. After this he left Amritsar and retired to Goindwal Sahib. There, after a few days he passed away on September 1, 1581 (Bhadon Sudi 3rd (2nd Assu) Samvat 1638. http://singhstation.net/2014/10/journey-bhai-jetha-dhan-guru-ramdas-ji/