My Religion: Sikhism

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My religion: Sikhism

Sikhism is the religious faith of those who call themselves Sikhs, the followers of Guru Nanak, his nine successors and their teachings, embodied in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikhs. The Sikh population worldwide at the beginning of the twenty-first century was estimated at 20 million; of these, 17 million reside in India, with 14 million living in Punjab. Of the 2 million or so Sikhs who live outside India, the Sikh diaspora, the majority are in Great Britain, the United States, and Canada.
Sikhism originated in the Punjab region of northwestern India during a time when many religious teachers, known as "Sants," were seeking to reconcile the two opposing dominant faiths, Hinduism and Islam. The Sants expressed their teachings in vernacular poetry based on inner experience. Although the teachings of Guru Nanak were broadly aligned with some of the Sants, his own mission is thought to have emerged out of his direct experience of the divine, initiated with the words na koi Hindu, na koi Mussalman ..("there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim") signaling a third way that was to become the Nanak Panth, or the path of Nanak. The first community of his disciples, those who chose to follow Nanak as their Guru (divine teacher), was composed primarily of former Hindus, who came to call themselves his "Sikhs" (followers).

The Sikh tradition was founded by Guru Nanak in the late 15th century C.E. Nanak was first of the ten Sikh Gurus. He was born in the village of Talwandi, now called Nankana Sahib, near Lahore in present-day Pakistan. His parents, Mehta Kalu and Matta Tripat, were Hindus and belonged to the merchant caste. Even as a boy, Nanak was fascinated by religion, and his desire to explore the mysteries of life eventually led him to leave home. Nanak married Sulkhni, of Batala, and they had two sons, Sri Chand and Lakhmi Das.…...

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