Becoming Canadian: Pioneer Sikhs In Their Own Words



THE BIRTH OF SIKHISM (1469 - 1539)

Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Dev
GURU NANAK DEV (1469 - 1539)
  • Born in northern India
  • By the age of 15 had studied Hinduism and Islam in depth
  • Fluent in Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic
  • He had a vision from god; " All are equal before the one God "
  • He then started preaching, universality of humankind, the abolition of the caste system, equality and meditation on God's name
  • 20 years of travelling throughout India, Persia and the Middle East
  • Spoke in Punjabi (the language most recognised)
  • Established LANGARS (community kitchens) to emphasise service to fellow human beings
  • Salvation available to all through moral living and devotion to God
Guru Angad Dev
Guru Angad Dev
GURU ANGAD DEV (1504 -1552)
GURU 1539 - 1552
  • Chosen for his humility and discipleship
  • Compiled hymns and teachings in written form
  • Refined and finalised Punjabi alphabet (GURMUKHI SCRIPT)
  • Gave Sikhs their own written language
  • Opened more LANGARS
  • Introduced physical fitness
Guru Amar Das
Guru Amar Das
GURU AMAR DAS (1479-1574)
GURU 1552 - 1574
  • Developed Sikh ceremonies
  • Rites of birth
  • Marriage
  • Death
  • Furthered the equality of woman
  • Fought against PURDAH (Isolation of woman) and SATI (burning of widows on their husbands' pyres)
  • Encouraged widows to remarry
Guru Ram Dats
Guru Ram Dats
GURU RAM DATS (1534 - 1581)
GURU 1574 - 1581
  • Promoted missionary activities
  • Set up treasury
  • Founded the SACRED SAROVAR ( " Lake of Immortality " )
Guru Arjun Dev
Guru Arjun Dev
GURU ARJUN DEV (1563 -1606)
GURU 1581 -1606
  • Organised building of the HARMANDIR in Amritsar (The Golden Temple)
  • Out of respect for other religions asked a Muslim to lay the foundation stone
  • Contributed a large volume of hymns to the holy scriptures
  • Compiled the GRANTH SAHIB (Sikh scriptures)
  • Martyred in 1606 by the emperor accused of treason
Guru Hargobind
Guru Hargobind
GURU HARGOBIND (1595 - 1644)
GURU 1606 - 1644
  • Guru at eleven years old after his father Arjun died
  • Wore 2 swords, representing spiritual and secular responsibility (A Sikh Tenet)
  • Introduced a Pennant which became the Sikh flag: " THE NISHAN SAHIB "
  • Built AKAL TAKHT (served as a Supreme Court ) across from the Golden Temple to guide Sikhs in temporal matters: an institution symbolising the protection of righteousness and the duty of self defence
  • Reinforced the concept of Saint-Soldier
Guru Har Rai
Guru Har Rai
GURU HAR RAI (1630 - 1661)
GURU 1644 - 1661
  • Emphasised free kitchens
  • Organised many religious congregations
  • Started a new organisation to preach in the land
  • Saved the life of the emperor's son, showing forgiveness and kindness
Guru Hari Krishen
Guru Hari Krishen
GURU HARI KRISHEN (1656 - 1664)
GURU 1661 - 1664
  • Guru at the age of 5; died at the age of 8
  • Served as a model for young children
  • Teachings stressed obeying and acting on the advice of parents
  • Served and healed thousands of poor and those suffering with cholera
Guru Tegh Bahadur
Guru Tegh Bahadur
GURU TEGH BAHADUR (1621 - 1675)
GURU 1664 - 1675
  • Preached forgiveness as a virtue
  • Martyred in 1675 for protecting Hindu's from religious persecution
  • Taught respect for other religions
Guru Gobind Singh
Guru Gobind Singh
GURU GOBIND SINGH (1666 - 1708)
GURU 1675 - 1708
  • A scholar, poet and warrior
  • Combined all qualities of his predecessors
  • Wrote many hymns collected in the DASAM GRANTH (the book of the 10th Guru)
  • Created the KHALSA (brotherhood of true disciples)
  • Instituted the 5K's of Sikhism
  • Expanded and edited THE GRANTH SAHIB
  • Decreed that there would be no more Guru's after him
  • Transferred his spiritual authority to the GRANTH SAHIB, which known as the GURU GRANTH SAHIB


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