The literal meaning of the word Sikh is ‘disciple’. It is often used to mean a follower and in this case a follower of the Guru. According to (Singh, 12), a Sikh is a person who believes in the existence of One Immortal Being and also the teachings of all ten Gurus in history. He or she must also not belong to any other religion. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak back in the 15th century in the greater Punjab region of what is modern day Pakistan.
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The word Sikh is appropriate since it defines the followers of Sikhism as individuals who live by the teachings of Sikh Gurus. These are individuals who obtain spiritual guidance from these Gurus and his or her life is defined by their teachings.
They revere the Guru Granth Sahib as their teacher and prime guide throughout their lives since it is a literal transcript of the nine Gurus’ teachings that came before it. Sikhs or in this case disciples fully pledge their lives to the Guru and they are expected to sacrifice everything for their cause by ensuring of the welfare and safety of all humanity irrespective of their religion.
The Sikhs believe that the Guru is dedicated to them hence they are obliged to diligently follow his or her teachings. They believe that, their spiritual father is the tenth Guru and the others are his or her spiritual brothers and their commitment to all of them is equal.
The Gurus in this case are not believed to be sons of God and Sikhs believe that we are all sons of God. They believe that any one is received warmly to follow the teachings of their Gurus and people of all religions can visit their temples. They follow their Gurus teachings of multilevel approach to the achievement of one’s target as a disciple of the Sikh faith.
Giving the examples of ‘sahajdhari’ who are Sikhs who do not follow the five Ks, but are still regarded to be Sikhs. The five Ks in this case include: kesh (un-cut hair); kanga (a small comb); kara (a steel band); kirpan (a small sword); kacha (specially made under shorts). Under the command of the Kalsa, the Sikhs make an oath to always carry these articles of their faith and the persona formally declares them to be saint soldiers of the Almighty Being.
Among the duties of a Sikh include the following: the acceptance of the Guru Granth Sahib and the teachings of the ten Gurus as their spiritual leaders. They should also regularly read and mediate on the Guru Granth Sahib and have faith in God and the Guru; they should know their responsibilities as instructed by the Guru and honour them while living a simple, honest and family oriented life.
They should selflessly contribute to the well-being of the society by serving society without expecting any payment and giving to charity; they should treat all people equally; they should speak politely; they should avoid the five thieves pride, greed and anger.
They should avoid lust and attachment to worldly possessions; the ones who are baptised should always wear the five Ks; they should always have a positive outlook towards life and shun cruelty; they should not practise any superstitions or fast and finally they should always approach problems in life logically and scientifically.
Singh Sardar Harjeet. Faith & philosophy of Sikhism: Volume 4 of Indian religions series. Gyan Publishing House: New Delhi. 2009. Print.