RELIGIOUS STUDIES Lecture Notes February 5
sikh scriptures encompasses a vast number of texts, including
some that aren't even sikh (pre-sikh)
AKAL PURAKH, God, and the importance of his name: NAM.
activities and practices are crucial
adi granth plays a significant and central roll in all of the
the five k's: the breeches, the wooden comb, the uncut hair, the
bracelets, and the miniature sword
there are correlations between the five K's and AKAL PURAKH. it
provides religious identity on top of the physical identity.
there is also the code of conduct: what kind of food you can
eat, no tobacco, no adultery,
social responsibility: justice (respecting others, a commitment
not to exploit others), oneness of humankind and religion (the
defence of human rights for all people, not just sikhs), service
(rendered indiscriminately to everyone, key aspect to religious
Khalsa spent their first century fighting the Mughal empire.
in 1799, RANJIT SINGH unified the Punjab and took control of the
Lahore. He declared himself MAHARAJA (sanskrit for great king.
popularly understood as emperor). RANJIT gave himself this name.
- SIKH COMMUNITY EXPANDS
- PEACE FOR FOUR DECADES
- His rule encompassed great religious diversity.
- He forged an alliance with the non-khalsa's - after RANJIT SINGH died, they lost to the british and were
annexed. the sikhs still wanted an independent sikh state.
- why is an independent state so important for emerging
religions? how does it relate to identity? security. pride.
validity of your god.
all initiated from inside, by Sikhs
1. nirankaris - BABA DAYAL DAS, eliminating hindu influences!
remember that for nanak there is no hindu and no muslim, so some
may have reverted without much trouble. he called them back.
2. namdharis - BABA RAM SINGH, stressed the importance of the
khalsa. instated the order of the Sant (devout Khalsa), created
new rituals like ALL WHITE DRESS and VEGETARIAN. baba ram singh
becomes big activist, passive resistance, etc. many namdharis
were executed without trial by the british and baba ram singh
3. singh sabha movement - est. by four prominent sikh reformers.
the threats responded to: reversion to hinduism and christian
missionary. the dominant branch secured and restored all
historical GURDWARAS. the SGPC was established to control the
GURDWARAS. this give the SGPC huge power politically,
economically, and religiously. They even published a guide that
became the "orthodox" practice of sikhism.
THERE IS NO SINGLE AND COHERENT SIKH
- the sikh panth is neither monolithic nor homogeneous
- only 20% of the sikh 25 million are in the "big orthodox"
Khalsa or "AMRIT-DHARIS"
- some of the remaining 80% follow the khalsa code even when
they aren't initiated to the Khalsa, these are called "KES-
- they are all sikhs though. - so the majority of sikhs have not gone through the initiation
to become amrit dharis, even though they follow the five k's.
FAMILY AND SOCIETY
- liberation was not in asceticism, but in the life of the
- caste discrimination was not supposed to matter, but people
still tend to marry in their caste
- concept of HONOUR plays a huge role in family life
- all roles of gender are approached from the view of family
- women are supposed to follow norms of modesty and honour and
to think about the family. BUT women were also offered the
opportunity to follow the five k's if they want.
- also granted the opportunity to obtain leadership positions,
even though they are usually filled by men.
- women are active participants in the Panth.
MUSIC ART AND LITERATURE
- sikhism is the only world religion that uses SONG as its MAIN
media for its religion.
- poems are also huge, since nanak was a poet.
- fine art as well.
- tb notes that literature can be considered as an art.
- their literary tradition began with writing down hymns
- no anthropomorphic representations of god in any art
- god not depicted in art 20C INDIA
the SGPC, has become an authoritative voice on all Sikh affairs.
● democratic insitution
● has power of edicts and punishments
- when british withdrew in 1947, the punjab was split in two,
with half their people in pakistan and half in india
- they are still legally lumped in with hindus instead of just
- many have worked towards and even demanded an independent sikh
state in the punjab, which has led to bloodshed.
- in 1984 operation Blue Star. many armed militant radicals
provoked a confrontation by occupy the golden temple. the indian
govt sent the army (this is what was called the blue star
operation). it was a massacre. the sikh body guards of the
president, indira ghandi, assasinated her. then the indians
turned on the sikhs. that caused reforms for more fundamental vs
- this also caused a diaspora.
- where they have moved, they've had to adapt. they have had a
lot of renewal and redefinition.
AS A GROUP, IT ISN'T EVEN RECOGNIZED. Legally understood as part
of Hinduism. Efforts to have it recognized for over a century. - though there are similarities with Hindu, tehre are big
- when do we start to examine a group as differnt from the group
they branched out of? when the people in the group see
themselves as separate and different from the religions they
- the jaina do n