SIKHISM - is a great offshoot of Hinduism. Read this site http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Sikhism/... AND www.sikhnet.com
To understand Sikhism you have to understand Hinduism. Hinduism is not Christianity and Islam which are codified religions, and have a book and a prophet. Hinduism has originated from various rituals tribal customs and social life over the centuries. Hinduism has 1000’s of Gods and Goddesses and various diverse thoughts.
Predominant amongst these thoughts is a way of life called Sanatan Dharma which more than 60% of the Hindus follow, and this is generally mistaken as Hinduism, and the other thoughts are treated as offshoots of Hinduism. The real truth is that Hinduism means Sanatan Dharma AND all the other thoughts. Sikhism is but one of these thoughts.
Firstly, the British with their policy of divide and rule, and secondly, political turmoil and hatred between Hindus and Sikhs has put the idea of a separate identity in the mind of us Sikhs. Many of my co-religionists will say – but we have different ideas as compared to Hinduism. Sure - I agree that we are different in ways but there are 50 – 100 major different thoughts within Hinduism and we are BUT one of them.
Do you understand ? Whereas fundamentalist Sikhs we say that we are 1 amongst 7 great world religions the fact is that there are actually 4 great religions. One - Christianity has various branches - Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Adventist, etc. Second – Islam has various branches - Shia, Sunni, Ahmediya etc. There is Judaism and finally Hinduism ( which is a collection of various beautiful thoughts like Buddhism, Sanatana Dharma, Sikhism, Jainism, Arya Samajists, Vaishnav, Shaivaites Manbhum, Santhal etc )
So Sikhism is born out of Hinduism. Guru Nanak was born a Hindu, he was a traveling holy man who followed a custom of Sant Mat ( or Saint Tradition ) quite popular amongst saints those days. It was a thought he inculcated in his believers and told them to learn it. His believers were called Sikhs as Sikh means – ‘to learn’ We had 9 more Gurus. Yes Guru Nanak also took some minor feedback from Islam but that is the nature of Hinduism – to absorb from everyone.
Was created about 200 years later by the 10th Guru in 1699 to give Sikhs a unique identity and some more wonderful beliefs. The Guru's first 5 Khalsas were called Panj Pyaras. However this wonderful concept of Khalsa has been altered by Khalsas themselves.
Because almost every 'Khalsa' breaks his religious laws. Of the 5 K’s the Kesh ( hair and beard, eyebrows, body hair ) is shorn by a massive ( maybe 99 %, yes 99 % ) majority of the young 'Khalsa', weather they are in the UK or the fields of Punjab . Even the 'Khalsa's who keep the hair will reject 3 other physical symbols. For convenience sake - without batting an eyelid. Ask a religious 'Khalsa', - if you take so much trouble over maintaining your hair at the right length, do you keep ‘the Kacha’ ( large undergarment / drawers ) or do you wear a Calvein Klein brand of underwear. Do you keep ‘the Kanga’ ( comb ) of the right length or only a miniature Kanga – for convenience sake ? The ‘Kara’ is convenient so almost everyone ( including I ) wear it.
There is nothing wrong with this though - a dynamic religion will not lay too much emphasis on rituals - it will change, progress and become stronger with time. That is why Sikhism is a great religion today
SIKH REHAT MARYADA - Closely connected to the concept of Khalsa is the Sikh Rehat Maryada - See how these archaic these rules have become.
Rule 1 - Cutting hair: Cutting hair is strictly forbidden in Sikhism. Sikhs are required to keep unshorn hair.
Rule 2 - Intoxication: Consumption of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and other intoxicants is not allowed. Intoxicants are strictly forbidden for a Sikh.
Answer - Sikhs are known to be the biggest drinkers in India - its literally a trademark stamp - Sikh and the bottle - and so what ?
Rule 3 - Adultry, having premarital or extra marital relationships : In Sikhism, the spouses must be physically faithful to one another.
Answer - This depends on the Dick versus the brain - and most men are ruled by their *****. I have the occasional romp in the hay with my wife's friend who is also a Sikh - so i guess Sikh women too dont care a damn for the Sikh Rehat Maryada.
Rule 4 - Blind spitituality- Superstitions and rituals should not be observed or followed, including pilgrimages, fasting and ritual purification; circumcision; idols, grave worship; compulsory wearing of the veil for women
Answer – Partly true. A 5 – 10 day trip ( depending on where you stay ) to Hem Kund Sahib is a pilgramage – even if the hypocrytes choose to define this act
Rule 5 - Material obsession : Accumulation of material wealth is not encouraged in Sikhism.
Answer - see this absolute load of crap - What rubbish, what complete rubbish. Sikhs are famous