The followers of Sikhism are called Sikhs and the word originated from its Sanskrit equivalent meaning disciples or students having a Guru. All who believe in universal brotherhood, the teachings of the ten gurus and Shri Guru Granth Saheb, oneness of God, and are not devotees of any other religion are called Sikhs. They are distinguished by the five Ks:
– Uncut hair, beard and moustache.
– a small sword.
– a steel bangle.
– a small comb.
– specially designed underpants.
A Sikh man may be easily recognized due to the turban tied over his uncut hair. Invariably Sikh females have Kaur and males, Singh as their surnames. Originally hailing from Punjab, today Sikhs have settled in every part of the world. The guiding principles
of the Sikh population is the earnest desire to re-unite with God after overcoming the personal obstacles such as ego, lust, anger, materialism, and greed. Also, man’s ultimate goal should be to break the vicious cycle of birth and death through performance of good deeds or dharma and follow the tenets of freedom, justice, equality, and truth. A Khalsa Sikh is baptized in accordance with the philosophy of the tenth guru.
The founding saint of the Sikh religion is Guru Nanak. A maverick, a poet, a spiritual teacher and a vibrant personality, Guru Nanak has remained alive in the hearts of over 25 million Sikhs because of the huge impact He made in their lives. This religion which is more aptly a way of life, lays emphasis on charity, morality, contentment, selfless service and the followers are encouraged to meditate and recite the name of God internally so as to attain “moksha” or salvation. The community of Sikhs is remarkably close knit, and unites to celebrate all religious festivals with great fervor and zeal.
Drawn from Hindus and Muslims, the exemplary followers of the religion do not believe in miracles but in reincarnation. Devout Sikhs are expected to pray at regular intervals through-out the day. They hold women in high esteem and greet each other warmly with “Sat Sri Akaal”. The staunch believers of oneness of humanity strictly abstain from narcotics, alcohol, cigarettes, and all sorts of intoxicants. A Sikh holds human form as very precious that is attained after millions of rebirths and firmly believes in not wasting it fruitlessly. Instead, human life should be used to praise the Lord and strive to merge the
soul with the Almighty Supreme Being.