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.…show more content…
Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the ten Sikh Gurus. Sikh congregational worship takes place in the gurdwara (door of the Guru), which is essentially any building in which the Guru Granth Sahib can be appropriately installed. The modern gurdwara has evolved out of the dharamsalas (resting places) established by Guru Nanak during his travels. The principal congregational activities in the gurdwara include kirtan (the singing of hymns), katha vachic (narrative exposition of Sikh philosophy and history), and more recently, akhand path (unbroken recitation of the entire Guru Granth Sahib), funeral services, and marriage ceremonies. Any adult Sikh, male or female, can conduct religious ceremonies. Specialized readers of the sacred texts, called granthis, and professional singers are qualified to perform congregational duties by skill rather than by ritual ordination. In most gurdwaras meditational worship begins before dawn with recitals of Guru Nanak's Asa di Var, followed at dawn with his Japji, and by Guru Gobind Singh's Jaap. Sikh festivals known as gurpurbs (the rising of a guru) are associated with an event in the respective Guru's life. The most important gurpurbs are Guru Nanak's birthday, celebrated on the full moon in November, Guru Gobind Singh's birthday (December–January), and the martyrdoms of Guru Arjan and Tegh Bahadur (May–June), all of which follow a lunar calendar. Sikh festivals that follow a

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